The Orlando Pride announced today that the team has acquired Icelandic international midfielder Gunnhildur “Gunny” Jónsdóttir and the rights to midfielder Erika Tymrak from Kansas City in exchange for Kristen Edmonds and Orlando’s natural second-round selection in the 2022 NWSL Draft.
“We’re extremely pleased to add Gunny to our squad,” Orlando Pride General Manager Ian Fleming said in a club press release. “Her experience, both within this league and at the international level, paired with her skill and versatility will add a dimension to how we play. Her ability will not only bring the best out of her, but will raise our level of play as a team,
“I was also very excited to find that Erika wanted to return to the sport and, specifically, to be a part of the Pride family. She is a proven competitor at this level, reflected by her accolades in this league and past experience with the U.S. Women’s National Team. I look forward to seeing her back at her best as a member of our club.”
Jónsdóttir, 32, joined Utah Royals FC — which became the new Kansas City NWSL franchise this off-season — during the team’s inaugural campaign in 2018. During her three years with Utah, she made 52 appearances, scoring two goals and adding six assists. One of her goals was the first ever goal in Royals franchise history and it came in Orlando in the third minute on March 24, 2018 in a 1-1 draw.
Prior to joining the NWSL, Jónsdóttir began her club career in Iceland with Stjarnan, debuting at just 14 years of age. She played in 119 matches from 2003-2012, scoring 25 goals and earning club MVP honors in 2011.
A member of the Icelandic Women’s National Team player pool since 2013, Jónsdóttir helped her side qualify for the 2017 UEFA Women’s Championship, scoring two goals. The Garðabær, Iceland native has 74 caps and 10 goals at the international level.
Tymrak, 29, announced her retirement in January 2020. The 2013 NWSL Rookie of the Year spent two seasons with Utah, scoring one goal and adding two assists in 30 matches. Prior to joining the Royals, Tymrak played five seasons with FC Kansas City, winning back-to-back NWSL championships in 2014 and 2015. In seven NWSL seasons, Tymrak has made 125 appearances, scoring 19 goals. She has also played abroad with Bayern Munich (2013) and Melbourne City (2016-2017).
On the international stage, Tymrak has represented the United States at the U-17, U-20, U-23, and senior levels. She earned her first call-up to the USWNT in August of 2013 and made her debut on Sept. 3 of that year. She has three total caps and scored her first senior international goal in the 76th minute against Brazil in a friendly at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Nov. 10, 2013 in a 4-1 U.S. victory. Unsigned Pride forward Sydney Leroux scored two goals in that match.
Tymrak grew up in Lakewood Ranch, FL, and attended the University of Florida. In Gainesville, she was a multi-time NSCAA All-America honoree and was named to the 2009 SEC All-Freshman Team. Tymrak finished her college career third on Florida’s all-time assists list, with 40, and was sixth in points (104).
Edmonds, 33, is an original member of the Pride. Orlando acquired her rights, along with midfielder Becky Edwards, from the Western New York Flash on Dec. 17, 2015 in exchange for a 2016 second-round draft pick and the Pride’s first-round pick in 2017.
The New Jersey native made 72 appearances in her five seasons with Orlando, scoring 10 goals and adding two assists. She was the team’s Golden Boot winner in the Pride’s inaugural season, scoring six goals in 2016. She was also the team’s co-leader in assists that year, tying Sarah Hagen with two.
“While we’re sad to see Kristen moving on, I’m very happy that she is going to have a fantastic opportunity to be a part of an exciting project in Kansas City,” Fleming said. “Kristen has been with the Pride since the club’s inception, and we are indebted to her time spent helping to build it to where we stand today. We wish her nothing but the best moving forward and thank her for everything she has done for both our Club and the Orlando community.”
What it Means for Orlando
The Pride spent draft day bulking up the midfield for the future. But the club will have to wait for new midfielders Viviana Villacorta and Mikayla Colohan to finish out their spring seasons before joining the team. With today’s moves, the Pride have added talented veteran help to a midfield that Orlando is clearly intent on bolstering. Jónsdóttir holds a Green Card and will not occupy an international spot on the Pride’s roster, so that makes the deal even better from Orlando’s perspective.
Fleming’s quote indicates he’s confident a deal will be completed to sign Tymrak. When that happens, the Pride will have a solid group in the midfield that includes Jade Moore, Taylor Kornieck, newly signed Jordyn Listro, recently re-signed Marisa Viggiano, and recently acquired Meggie Dougherty Howard, along with young Chelsee Washington. Although few in this group have played a single game together yet, that’s a solid and deeper group that’s built to withstand international call-ups. If the club can re-sign Camila, that depth gets even better.
Edmonds is a versatile player and has played nearly every outfield position for the Pride, aside from center back. She’s been a capable fill-in at fullback and has played on the forward line and in the midfield. Losing a player like that is never ideal, but the team now seems to have more balance, particularly when the reinforcements arrive from college, and much more depth. Rather than having reserves at the level of National Team Replacement Players, the Pride will have experienced and talented players throughout the midfield.