Who’s going to win the 2014 World Cup? According to Clayton State University Women’s Soccer Coach Gareth O’Sullivan, host country Brazil is the favorite. But, also according to O’Sullivan, that doesn’t make the path to the July 12 final any easier for the home side.
O’Sullivan expects the “Big Four” of international soccer – Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Germany – to populate the semifinals. However, he also notes that, “no European team has ever won the tournament when it’s been hosted in South America,” which is one reason he makes Brazil the favorite.
And, he says, that’s a mixed blessing.
“It’s an exciting time, but there are a lot of expectations on Brazil, a lot of pressure,” he says. “It’ll be traumatic for a lot of people if they don’t win. They take it very seriously.”
A native of Ballina, Ireland, O’Sullivan was hired at Clayton State in February of 2011 after most recently serving as the head coach of the Atlanta Beat of the WPS (Women’s Professional Soccer) in 2009 and 2010. As both an international and American player and coach, he says it’s fantastic that America has again qualified for the tournament. However…
“It’s unfortunate with the group they drew. Can they win the tournament, no. Can they get out of the group, yes,” he says. “They have a chance to get out of the group.”
Before coming to the Beat O’Sullivan was a professional head coach in the Icelandic Premier League for three seasons. However, it’s at the NCAA Division II level where O’Sullivan has made his mark, serving as head coach at Christian Brothers, West Georgia and now Clayton State. Overall, O’Sullivan has a 193-96-16 record at the NCAA Division II level, including 124-40-9 as a women’s head coach.
Prior to his first head coaching position, O’Sullivan played in the League of Ireland Premier Division with Sligo Rovers. He also had stints in the USISL, A-League and CISL. He also spent time training with Swedish teams IFK Goteborg & GAIS and 1992 English Premier League team Coventry City.
O'Sullivan earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from the University of Memphis in 1992, where he played collegiately for the Tigers. He and his wife, Anna, are proud parents of two sons - Liam and Tomas.
Media representatives wishing to interview O’Sullivan on the World Cup should contact the Clayton State Office of Public and Media Relations at (678) 466-4463 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.