The Union are finally rumored to be making a move to fill the number 10 position.
The agency representing Borek Dockal confirms to the Inquirer and Daily News that he’s negotiating with the Union. Dockal’s Chinese club is hesitant to let him go, but is willing to agree to a one-year loan.— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) February 20, 2018
“Final form of a possible contract” is still to be set.
When the rumor finally linking the Philadelphia Union to an actual creative midfielder was announced earlier today, the name Bořek Dočkal meant absolutely nothing to most American soccer fans. And sure, we all can look at FM profiles or YouTube videos to get an idea of how he plays and what he could bring to the Union. I took the time to get in touch with a fan of the Czech Republic National Team, fellow SBN Soccer blogger Mike Stehlik, to get an idea of what the Union are potentially getting in Dočkal.
Dočka is a veteran of both the Czech Republic National Team and has played in European competitions for Sparta Prague, the most successful club football team in the Czech Republic. He’s currently playing in China, but just left during this most recent transfer window.
Brotherly Game: What are Dočkal’s strengths as a player?
Mike Stehlik: He’s a quality attacker; dribbling, passing, shooting. Not afraid to try to take on a defender on, doesn’t mind having a shot from range.
BG: Would he fit as a number 10 in a 4-2-3-1 formation?
MS: Short answer, yeah. Dočkal is versatile, he would have no problems settling in as a #10. He started there and scored against Lazio, albeit Sparta played a 3-4-1-2. He could also function as a striker, take a more central midfield role, and out wide as either a winger or midfielder
BG: Anything we need to be worried about attitude wise?
MS: I suppose anyone who willingly wants to associate themselves with Chinese football (as of right now, at least) should deserve some eye raise, no? Outside of that, I don’t think so. He’s a vet and also does have experience as captain for the Czech Republic U21s, a team that finished fourth behind De Gea’s Spain, Shaqiri’s Switzerland and Belarus in the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championships.
BG: Does he have enough left in the tank to be a quality addition to an MLS team?
MS: His age (29) definitely won’t win anyone over, but yea I think he’s still got gas in the tank left, I rate him highly and think he’d be a great addition
So, there you have it from someone who’s watched the man play besides just highlight reels. Hopefully, if the deal goes through, Dočkal will be the answer for the Union in a position that the team has neglected in recent years.