First MLS goal in hand, Borek Dockal ready to turn a corner for Union

Borek Dockal — Philadelphia Union — solo shot — April 28, 2018

CHESTER, Pa. — After weeks of struggles, Borek Dockal seemed to take out all of his frustration on the poor ball and D.C. United goalkeeper Steve Clark.

And with one rocket of a goal that whizzed over Clark’s head in the 72nd minute of Saturday’s game, the midfielder not only provided the difference in the Philadelphia Union's critical 3-2 win but, perhaps more importantly, finally showcased some of he things he’s capable of after getting signed to an offseason Designated Player deal.

“We definitely needed to get some points today,” Dockal said. “I needed to score the goal and create the chance. … In the last three or four games, we struggled to score a goal so I felt the responsibility to do something with the result.”

Before this weekend, Dockal had yet to score through his first five MLS games, a stretch that coincided with a winless streak that turned Saturday’s tilt with D.C. into something close to a must-win.

And of all the players on the team, most of the pressure to turn the season around was on Dockal and David Accam, the two high-priced players brought in this offseason to revitalize the attack.

“For me, it’s amazing to see him score goals,” Accam told “It pushed his confidence up. When everyone’s confidence is up, it’s good for the team. Hopefully we can push and do more in the next game.”

Helping Dockal and Accam in the front four was Ilsinho, as the Brazilian was called upon to make his first start of the season on the right wing and delivered the game’s opening goal. Dockal said he was excited to test out a new partnership with another playmaker, calling Ilsinho’s talent “something incredible.”

But he admitted gelling with all of his teammates continues to be a work in progress.

“I just came the last few weeks before the start of the season,” Dockal said. “It’s obviously something you need to get by training with your teammates, playing some games with them. It’s getting better.”

And Dockal — who, even aside from the goal, definitely enjoyed his best game in a Union shirt with five shots, seven key passes, 102 touches and an MLS Team of the Week nod — hopes it will continue to get better, with a daunting three-game road trip on the horizon.

“I think it’s mostly about confidence,” the Czech midfielder said. “I hope this result will give us all the confidence we need.”

“Borek just came to us this year and I think he played amazing today,” added Haris Medunjanin, who helped set up the team’s second goal, scored by CJ Sapong. “He was everywhere … He just needed some time to adjust to us. I think you will see him getting better every game.”