Philadelphia Union Acquire Attacking Midfielder Borek Dockal
Czech Republic native joins Philadelphia on loan from Chinese club Henan Jianye
CHESTER, Pa. (Feb. 28, 2018) – Philadelphia Union today announced that the club has acquired attacking midfielder Borek Dockal (pronounced: BOHR-eck DOEtsch-CAL), pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate. A native of the Czech Republic, Dockal joins the Union as a Designated Player on loan from Chinese club Henan Jianye. He will occupy an international roster spot for Philadelphia. In a separate transaction, the Union utilized discretionary Targeted Allocation Money on midfielder David Accam, who will not occupy a Designated Player roster slot for Philadelphia in 2018.
Dockal, 29, has previously played in the Czech Republic, Turkey and Norway in addition to China. He has made over 350 professional appearances to date, totaling 79 goals and 93 assists over that span. He registered a 20-assist season in the Czech topflight en route to a league title in 2013-14 and has earned 35 caps for his country.
“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,” said Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart. “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.”
Dockal came up through the youth system of Slavia Prague after joining the club at 10 years old. He debuted for the first team in 2006 at age 18, making six appearances in the Czech topflight. He scored his first goal and notched his first assist in the same match, against FK Teplice on November 27, 2006.
He then went on loan to SK Kladno in the Czech Republic, where he made 14 additional topflight appearances the next season before joining Slovan Liberec permanently, making 14 more appearances for the club to close out the 2007-08 season. All told, Dockal spent two-and-a-half additional seasons with Slovan Liberec, notching a high watermark of five goals and three assists in 2009-10. He also appeared in four UEFA Europa League qualification matches that season.
In July 2010, he joined Turkish side Konyaspor on loan, appearing in nine matches before returning to Slovan Liberec and eventually signing permanently for Norwegian club Rosenborg. He made his Norwegian topflight debut on August 7, 2011, recording an assist, and would total two goals and six assists over 13 appearances that year.
In 2012, he broke out to the tune of a 10-goal, six-assist season, helping Rosenborg to a third place finish while also advancing to the round of 16 in the 2012 Norwegian Cup and appearing in two UEFA Europa League matches. Later that year, he helped the squad advance to the Group Stage of the 2012-13 UEFA Europa League while returning to the round of 16 in the 2013 Norwegian Cup.
In August 2013, Dockal joined Sparta Prague, returning to his native country. In his first season back in the Czech topflight, he registered two goals and 20 assists over 25 appearances as he won the HET Liga title. In 2014-15, he again played in the UEFA Europa League Group Stage while tallying a 10-goal season in the league.
Dockal’s strong play continued into 2015-16 with an eight-goal, seven-assist league campaign and advancement into the UEFA Europa League Quarterfinals. In 2016-17, he appeared in UEFA Champions League qualification as well as advancement beyond the Group Stage of the Europa League yet again before moving to China, where he tallied four goals and five assists for Henan Jianye over 23 appearances.
Internationally, Dockal has earned 35 caps for the Czech Republic. He made his debut on February 6, 2013 in an international friendly against Turkey and scored his first goal in FIFA World Cup qualification on October 15, 2013 vs. Bulgaria. He was a part of the Czech squad at UEFA Euro 2016, appearing in the Group Stage against Turkey, and most recently played for his country in qualification matches ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
TRANSACTION: Philadelphia Union signs midfielder Borek Dockal as a Designated Player on loan from Chinese club Henan Jianye on February 28, 2018. He will occupy an international roster slot. Philadelphia Union also utilize discretionary Targeted Allocation Money on midfielder David Accam on February 28, 2018.
Name: Borek Dockal (pronounced: BOHR-eck DOEtsch-CAL)
Born: September 30, 1988 in Mestec Kralove, Czech Republic
Hometown: Prague, Czech Republic
Citizenship: Czech Republic
Acquired: Philadelphia Union signs midfielder Borek Dockal as a Designated Player on loan from Chinese club Henan Jianye on February 28, 2018. He will occupy an international roster slot.
Previous Experience: Henan Jianye (2017-), Sparta Prague (2013-2017), Rosenborg (2011-2013), Konyaspor (2010-2011), Slovan Liberec (2008-2011), SK Kladno (2006-2007), Slavia Prague (2006-2008)