FC Kansas City’s Erika Tymrak is NWSL rookie of the year

08/20/2013 2:11 PM

08/20/2013 10:52 PM

Once unsure if she would be part of the National Women’s Soccer League rookie class, FC Kansas City midfielder Erika Tymrak turned out to be the best of the bunch.

Tymrak was selected as the league’s rookie of the year Tuesday, an honor that came only five months after she mapped out plans to play overseas — just in case she went unselected in the college draft.

FC Kansas City, however, used its second-round pick to select Tymrak out of Florida, and she responded with six goals and four assists in her first season of professional soccer.

“I’m so excited that I was picked for rookie of the year,” Tymrak said. “It’s been such an experience growing and developing with this group of girls, and the credit goes to my team.”

The development began slowly. Tymrak began the year as a reserve for the first six games of the season. On June 6, she was inserted into the starting lineup and scored her first career goal at Portland. She scored another in her second start.

She has started every game since, with her maturation igniting a 10-match unbeaten streak from mid-June to early August.

“Erika steps onto the field knowing she can make a difference and impact the game,” FC Kansas City coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “And usually she’s right. She’s one of the most creative players on the team.”

FC Kansas City will play host to Portland FC at 1 p.m. Saturday in the league semifinals at Shawnee Mission North District Stadium.

Here is the remaining National Women’s Soccer League awards schedule: Today, goalkeeper of the year; Thursday,: defender of the year; Monday: coach of the year; and Aug. 27, most valuable player.

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