The Orlando Pride announced today that the club has signed midfielder Erika Tymrak to a two-year deal. She spent the last two seasons with the club but was a free agent following the 2022 NWSL season. The new contract will keep the veteran in purple through 2024.
“Not only is Erika a strong, technical player that can contribute on the field, but she brings valuable veteran presence to our locker room,” Pride Head Coach Seb Hines said in a club press release. “Having senior leaders to guide our younger players is very important for our team goals, and Erika is someone who we know understands and appreciates that responsibility. We’re excited that Erika has chosen to continue her career as part of the Pride and the project we are undertaking here in Orlando, and we look forward to seeing her back on the field in 2023.”
Tymrak initially joined the Pride ahead of the 2021 season after spending 2020 in retirement. The 31-year-old midfielder has made 42 appearances in all competitions, with 19 starts, and has played 1,759 minutes. She’s scored two goals and provided three assists in her two years with the club.
“I am absolutely thrilled to continue my career with the Pride as we promote this beautiful game and solidify our identity in this league,” Tymrak said about the signing. “I’m excited to get back on the pitch and work towards bringing a championship to Orlando.”
In her second season in Orlando, Tymrak made 20 appearances in all competitions, with 13 starts, and accumulated 1,141 minutes. She didn’t score, but provided two assists. On July 3 against Racing Louisville, Tymrak’s assist to Darian Jenkins kicked off the team’s seven-game unbeaten run. Her second was to Celia on July 31 in Kansas City that gave the Pride a 1-0 lead. The Mane Land staff gave Tymrak a 5.5 rating out of 10 for her 2022 season.
The Detroit native is a product of the University of Florida, where she played under former Pride interim coach Becky Burleigh. She was drafted in the second round with the 11th overall selection in the 2013 NWSL College Draft by FC Kansas City.
Tymrak was named NWSL Rookie of the Year for her rookie season and helped Kansas City win back-to-back NWSL championships in 2014 and 2015. She remained with the club when it moved to Salt Lake City, becoming the Utah Royals, before retiring following the 2019 season.
In total, Tyrmak has made 167 appearances with 103 starts. She’s scored 20 goals and provided 17 assists.
What This Means for Orlando
The Pride are in the middle of an extensive rebuilding project. Tymrak may not be with the team when they’re ready to compete, but she’ll provide some needed experience in the upcoming two seasons.
Despite being her first year out of retirement, Tyrmak had an excellent 2021 season, which resulted in scoring two goals and recording one assist. The TML staff rated her a 6.5 out of 10 for the 2021 campaign. She played in fewer games in 2022 but had more starts and more minutes. However, she seemed to regress a little this past season, failing to record any goals and putting fewer of her shots on target.
Tyrmrak will be expected to provide a veteran presence in a young midfield that will likely include 23-year-olds Kerry Abello, Mikayla Cluff, and Viviana Villacorta. If the Pride are able to contend in the near future, Tymrak is someone that has played in the NWSL playoffs on multiple occasions and won a pair of championships. That experience could be vital.
The other remaining unsigned free agents from the Pride’s 2022 squad are Marta, Meggie Dougherty Howard, and Toni Pressley.