The Philadelphia Union will travel to LAFC looking for their second consecutive victory Saturday at Banc of California Stadium.
But they’ll have to play without the reigning Major League Soccer Player of the Week in Borek Dockal. In last Saturday’s 4-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Dockal scored two goals. On Monday night, Dockal’s second child was born, and he won’t be joining his teammates with a trip across the country.
Over Dockal’s last seven games, he has four goals and five assists.
“It’s the same passes he made early in the year, but now it’s getting finished,” Union head coach Jim Curtin told MLSSoccer.com. “I do agree that he has really raised his level, though. I think he’s put in really good work in training every day and he’s taking on more of a leadership role with our young players.”
This will be the first-ever meeting between the two clubs, and the Union will be without defender Josh Yaro (concussion). Defender Richie Marquez is questionable following a recent surgical procedure for a sports hernia.
LAFC is unbeaten at home (3-0-3) after its most recent game, a 2-0 victory over Columbus Crew SC last Saturday. LAFC is 8-4-3 overall.
LAFC will be without forward Carlos Vela, who is playing for Mexico in the World Cup. Mexico advanced into the Round of 16 and will face Brazil on Monday.
But defender Laurent Ciman did return to help LAFC defeat the Crew with a free kick goal in the fourth minute.
“We knew we were getting a leader, a guy in the back who could help us be a team that could play from the back,” coach Bob Bradley told reporters about Ciman. “But the part with his free kicks has been a great surprise. Obviously by now, in certain situations, he’s capable of coming up with something that is different.”
Tyler Miller will remain LAFC’s starting goalkeeper, as Luis Lopez remains out with a stress fracture in his right tibia. Miller has pitched five shutouts in 15 starts this season.
—Field Level Media