Annual Awards / Featured / Local

PSP Men’s Player of the Year: Borek Dockal

Photo: Paul Rudderow

It’s looking all but certain at this point that Borek Dockal will not be with the Union in 2019. If he can’t stay with MLS hopefully he makes a return to Europe, though unfortunately that decision will be made by Henan Jianye F.C., the Chinese Super League team that still holds his contract.

But this isn’t a news update, this is the PSP Year End Award for Men’s Player of the Year. It’s a celebration of the best male player in Philadelphia soccer, and could it be anyone other than the Czech international?

He didn’t enter the year with guns blazing, though it’s hard to fault him for that. His signing was announced just one month before the start of the season, a typical move of the Ernie Stewart era but one that leaves incoming players precious little time to acclimate to the unique realities of MLS. Let alone a new team and new teammates.

But eventually Dockal did acclimate, and it paid dividends for the Union all season long-

While that goal is lovely, what really made Dockal exceptional was his ability to create goals for other players. Leading the league in assists is a significant achievement for any player, but doing it on an offense-deprived team like the Union is honestly unfathomable. It’s a tremendous achievement as worthy of celebration as any other in the Union’s history.

But what made Borek Dockal truly exceptional was the businesslike manner in which he did it. This wasn’t a dream opportunity to him. At no point did it appear that the Union were letting him fulfil a dream of living in America. He had no connection to the country, the league, or the city. In fact by all accounts his loan was less about playing in Philadelphia and more about not playing in China.

And yet despite no “reason” to do so (other than it being his job), he came in and put full effort into an occasionally hapless team in a less than fashionable league. That commitment, that professionalism, that understanding of the basic fundamental meaning of being a “professional”, is what makes Borek Dockal PSP’s 2018 Men’s Player of the Year.


  1. He spent a 1/4 of the year acclimating himself to the league and 1/3 of the year setting up a less than clinical Sapong.

    Can you imagine how many assists he’d have setting up a striker now.
    Le sigh. Ennui.

  2. Eh ….. don’t care. He’s gone. Let’s give an award to a number 10 who stays, and wants to stay on the team for longer than a year and who truly wants to make this team better.

  3. What no more bouquets for the overrated number 26?


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