A 27-year-old attacking midfielder with one cap for the Czech Republic national team has been linked to the Philadelphia Union as a possible summer reinforcement.
Vlkanova had 9 goals and 13 assists in 35 games in all competitions for Hradec Kralove in the Czech Republic top flight this past season. His value is listed at $1.4 million and his contract is through June 2023, according to his Transfermarkt profile.
The Union have had a limited but successful track record scouting in Czech Republic. Borek Dockal had 5 goals and 18 assists (still a franchise record) in his one season on loan with the Philadelphia Union in 2018.
While it’s not surprising that Sporting Director Ernst Tanner would be shopping during the summer transfer window — Sergio Santos is reportedly moving to FC Cincinnati for up to $1 million in allocation money and Stuart Findlay is reportedly moving to League One in England — Vlkanova would appear to be a player who could further limit playing time for the Union’s homegrown trio of Paxten Aaronson, Quinn Sullivan and Jack McGlynn.
Though he can play out wide on both sides and as a central midfielder or forward, a majority of his time last season was as a left winger, which would seemingly translate either to the left side of the diamond or as one of the strikers in the Union’s typical 4-4-2 diamond.
With interest sky high in the Union’s homegrown players after their performances with the United States U20s, there’s a very real possibility one or more could be leaving to Europe sooner than later (Aaronson’s been heavily linked to Red Bull Salzburg). Should this happen, Vlkanova would start to even make more sense.
His versatility on the field and ability to play and pass with both feet could certainly make him a welcome addition to a squad pushing for its first MLS Cup run.