Gunnhildur Yrsa Jónsdóttir, AKA Gunny, is the kind of player you want on your team. Not only is she a core part of one of the best defenses in the NWSL, but she’s also a dangerous player in the attack. I would say 2018 was a great year for her, and with the way Gunny plays, it looks like she’s just getting started.
What made her such an important part to the heart of the team this last year was more than just skill, effort, and experience. Gunny, on and off the field, was a role model for young players everywhere. Her modest and fun attitude, the energy and determination she brought to the field, and her ability to understand the game as a whole.
Gunny loves selfies with fans. Love you. Should have done a mini Utah Royals FC viking clap. https://t.co/6gfBaQVWDv— No. 3 Rick (@Utahrd) June 17, 2018
Despite starting at an attacking role and scoring the inaugural Utah Royal Football Club goal in the first game of the season, Gunny quickly slotted deeper into a CDM role. It was pretty apparent why the change was made so early in the season. This position gave her the option to be more dynamic with vision and passing, and it also gave her space to run into and support the attack.
The first strike for @UtahRoyalsFC didn't take long. An early lead for the visitors in Orlando thanks to Gunny Jónsdóttir.#ORLvUTA | #NWSL pic.twitter.com/ON0xR1hCXU— NWSL (@NWSL) March 24, 2018
Credit has to be given to the depth of skill Utah Royals FC had at the CDM position. Complimentary players were reliable and made it easy for players like Gunny to commit to another part of the field and be dynamic, positioning herself for 29 shots and playing every minute of the entire 2018 season. She was fouled 63 times, so clearly the other teams saw her importance.
I can’t think of a single thing that I didn’t like from Jónsdóttir as a Utah Royal this last season, which is hard to say because I’m a pretty negative person. If I had to find something to be negative about, you could say she should have scored more goals with 29 shots, but I like to think those shots were really about pressure, and I did not mind that at all.