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2018 Player Profiles: Erika Tymrak

A reliable midfielder in times of need

Cindy Lara | RSL Soapbox

Erika Tymrak joined Utah Royals FC in January 2018, entering her sixth season in the NWSL with a résumé that included two back-to-back championships with FC Kansas City and 95 appearances in the league.

Tymrak was drafted by FC Kansas City in the second round of the 2013 NWSL draft. That same season, she won the Rookie of the Year Award. Along with her NWSL experience, the Florida Gators alum was a member of the U-17 U.S. National Team that finished second at the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand. She also spent time with the U.S. National Team in 2013, scoring her first international goal against Brazil in that same year.

Without a doubt, Utah gained a player with plenty of experience. However, how she would fit in Laura Harvey’s plans was unknown as the season began, especially on a team with a deep pool of players that included Gunny Jónsdóttir, Diana Matheson, Desiree Scott, Amy Rodriguez, and Katrina Gorry, and Harvey typically selected these players to fill the her front line, reducing Tymrak’s role to a substitute.

In Utah’s first seven games, Tymrak played 53 minutes. It wasn’t until May 19 that Tymrak earned her first start and played the full 90 at Rio Tinto Stadium. In preparing for the game against the Houston Dash, Harvey credited Tymrak’s work ethic in training and ability to find pockets of space between the backline that convinced her to start the midfielder.

Harvey’s choice would pay off as Tymrak scored the only goal in Utah’s 1-0 win over Houston in the 51st minute. The win continued Utah’s four-game unbeaten streak and recorded their second win of the season.

Tymrak started in the game against Portland the following week, but this time, there would not be any second-half heroics as Utah suffered a 2-0 setback against the Thorns. The setback meant a return the bench for Tymrak, which had more to do with Utah’s overall struggles to win than Tymrak’s abilities. In total, Tymrak would earn 5 starts throughout 2018, with 14 appearances in total.

We can expect to see Tymrak return for the 2019 season. On October 1, the club announced it had exercised the option to Tymrak’s contract.