Borek Dockal, Mark McKenzie shine amid Union's winning streak
Eleven observations on the Union and other headlines from the local soccer scene, including a superb goal by Carli Lloyd.
Eleven observations on the Union and other headlines from the local soccer scene:
• How good was Borek Dockal's performance against Real Salt Lake? WhoScored.com gave him an 8.63 rating for the game, the highest rating for any Union player in any game this year.
• Dockal was one of three Union players with WhoScored ratings above 8.0 against RSL. Fafa Picault got an 8.05, due in part to three shots, two chances created and 84.8% passing accuracy. Keegan Rosenberry got a very impressive 8.45 for one goal, three shots, five defensive interceptions and 94.9% passing accuracy.
• Matthew De George of the Delaware County Times saw this first, but it's worth noting here too: Borek Dockal put much more into his goal than just the finish. He started running forward three passes before receiving the ball, and didn't stop until the ball was on its way into the net. Watch him in the video below. He starts the play just to the left of the referee.
• Mark McKenzie might keep his place in the Union's starting lineup. He had three interceptions, four clearances and 90.5% passing accuracy against RSL.
• C.J. Sapong had zero shots against RSL. It didn't matter given the score, but look at his map of touches in the game. He had none in the 18-yard box.
• Marcus Epps is not as good as David Accam. Even Accam's critics have to admit that. But it sure stuck out that Epps started against Real Salt Lake. It made sense at Montreal, as it gave Accam a break during that road trip. But if Accam doesn't start against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, there will be questions.
• The Red Bulls will likely be without two of their best players when the Union visit. Centerback Kemar Lawrence suffered a horrific head injury during Sunday night's upset win at Atlanta United, and star midfielder Tyler Adams tweaked his knee in the same game.
• If Adams is out for a while, he'll be missed by the U.S. national team too. He was reportedly going to join the squad for the June games at France and Ireland. Adams, Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic can be the national team's starting midfield trio for years to come, and this was to be their first time together.
• Bethlehem Steel is also on a winning streak. They thumped New York Red Bulls II at home, 3-0, last Wednesday, and won at Indy Eleven 2-1, on Saturday. Union midfielders Derrick Jones and Adam Najem played every minute of both games; Fabian Herbers played 83 minutes in the first game and 90 in the second.
• Cory Burke played in the Steel-Red Bulls game while serving his red card suspension earned with the Union. That he could do so surprised many observers — including some in Chester — because red cards usually carry across club competitions. But in the USL, the league can allow a player suspended elsewhere to take the field.
• The last word goes to Carli Lloyd, who scored a superb goal for Sky Blue FC in Saturday's 2-1 loss to the North Carolina Courage. It was Lloyd's first goal at home for Sky Blue, not just in the NWSL but including the old WPS era, too. And it was her first for any team on her alma mater's turf, Rutgers' Yurcak Field, since 2013.