The Philadelphia Union have their No. 10, at last.
Bořek Dočkal officially joined the team on Wednesday more than a week after he first came to the United States to undergo a medical exam and negotiate a deal with the team.
The 29-year-old central attacking midfielder comes to Chester via China, where he spent a season with Henan Jianye F.C. in the Chinese Super League. He’s officially “a Designated Player on loan,” according to the Union press release but it’s not clear whether the deal includes an option to buy.
“When we set out to identify targets for our number 10 position that would be a good fit within our system and parameters, Borek stood out as a leading candidate from the very beginning,” Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said in the release. “We believe Borek has the quality to make everyone around him better. This deal took time and patience to complete and we are excited to welcome him to Philadelphia. We look forward to integrating him with our group as quickly as possible as we turn our attention to the 2018 opener on March 3.”
Stewart and head coach Jim Curtin will meet with the media this afternoon at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester but Dočkal will not be there, according to a team spokesman.
Dočkal has been with the team since joining them in Clearwater, Florida. He was on the bench with the team in their final preseason match against Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday and was in training at Power Training Complex on Tuesday.
Homegrown midfielder Anthony Fontana has been named the starter for Saturday’s season opener against New England Revolution at Talen Energy Stadium. That seems unlikely to change at this point.