Bořek Dočkal’s form for the Philadelphia Union carried over to his national team with a pair of assists in a 2-1 win over Slovakia on Saturday.
Dočkal, who leads Major League Soccer in assists this season with 17, set up Michal Krmencik’s opener in the 52nd minute with a pinpoint pass through the middle of the field into the box and after a 62nd minute equalizer found the head of substitute Patrik Schick on a cross from near the corner flag Schick headed home for the game-winner.
The assists were the 30-year-old midfielder’s first for his country since he had an assist in a World Cup qualifier against Norway in November 2016. He earned his 36th cap (and first in a calendar year) with his 29th career start for the senior national team. He now has six assists to go with five goals in his international career.
As exciting as it is to see a Union player doing so well on the international stage — in addition to the assists, Dočkal had a solid game rewarding his coach’s faith in giving him the captaincy — it complicates any efforts on the part of the Union to get him back wearing blue and gold next season.
The deal that brought him to Chester was a one-year loan without an option to buy, meaning the Union will have to re-negotiate with Henan Jianye, the Chinese Super League club that has him under contract. Henan Jianye paid a $9 million transfer fee to acquire him from Sparta Prague less than two years ago.
Dočkal is the highest paid player on the Union roster this season at $1.7 million.