The Orlando Pride acquired the rights to Erika Tymrak along with midfielder Gunny Jónsdóttir on Jan. 30, in exchange for the rights to Kristen Edmonds and a second-round draft pick. Tymrak had retired in January of 2020 but decided to return to the sport and the Pride signed her to a contract on Feb. 5, just days after acquiring her rights from Kansas City.
Tymrak was brought in to add some creativity and quality to the attacking midfield, but was a bit of an unknown quantity after taking a year off.
Then-coach Marc Skinner wasted no time getting Tymrak involved, as the midfielder made her Pride debut in the club’s first NWSL Challenge Cup match, playing 25 minutes in a 2-2 draw at Racing Louisville on April 10. She made two appearances in the Challenge Cup, playing 42 total minutes. She attempted one shot (off target), completing 11 of her 14 pass attempts (78.5%) and sustained three fouls while committing none. Unfortunately, Tymrak picked up a knock and missed the final two Challenge Cup games and the first match of the regular season.
Tymrak was held out of the Pride’s second, third, and fourth matches by Skinner but after that she appeared in each of the team’s final 20 regular-season games, starting six times. She never played the full 90 in any match, finishing the season with 576 minutes played. She scored two goals and added one assist, firing nine total shots and getting six of those on target. She added six key passes on the offensive end while completing her pass attempts at a 68.8% success rate.
Defensively, Tymrak made 11 interceptions and three clearances, winning her tackle attempts at a 53.3% rate and her duels at a 51.2% rate. She wasn’t as good in the air, winning aerial duels at just a 38.5% clip. This is understandable as she’s 5-foot-5 and often has to try to win those against taller defenders and defensive midfielders. Tymrak won 12 fouls while conceding 10 and picked up one yellow card in 2021 for her only booking.
Coincidentally, Tymrak scored both of her goals this season against NJ/NY Gotham FC. Her best performance came on Aug. 29 in a 1-0 road win over Gotham. She played 60 minutes in the match, scoring in the 49th minute in her only shot attempt of the match. Seeing Kailen Sheridan off her line a bit, Tymrak had lots of space on the right and sent in a perfectly placed shot to open her Pride account. It proved to be the game winner.
In addition to scoring the winning goal on her only shot of the match, Tymrak won two free kicks, did not concede a foul, recorded a pair of tackles, and passed at a 66.7% rate, completing 10 of her 15 attempts. The 60 minute shift was her third-longest of the season.
2021 Final Grade
Tymrak receives a composite grade of 6.5 from The Mane Land staff for her 2021 campaign. The overall staff sentiment is that Tymrak did enough in her time on the field to have perhaps earned more minutes and more starts. She seemed to read the game well and put herself into position for success. She put a high percentage of her shot attempts on target and was one of the few midfield players who seemed capable of taking on defenders on the dribble while running toward goal. Her final ball in the attacking end could have been better with just two successful crosses on the year, but that’s true of the team as a whole as well. Still, she completed 59.5% of her passes in the opponents’ half, which isn’t bad.
The Pride signed Tymrak to a one-year deal with an option year for 2022. As she was a valuable role player in her first season with Orlando, we expect the club to exercise that option. She provides valuable experience and a veteran presence for the attacking midfield and earned a second year with her performances.