[MLS ALL-STAR GAME] It won't get better than this as far as All-Star Games go. MLS takes over Portland. Bayern Munich rides into town loaded with World Cup champs. And the German powerhouse heads back to Munich having lost, 2-1, in a game that produces three golazos and has a heated Bayern coach Pep Guardiola looking for a rematch.
For the first 10 minutes it looked like it would be a repeat of last year when Roma ran over the MLS all-stars, 3-1, in Kansas City. Bayern Munich run rampant, taking a lead on a
Robert Lewandowski goal a minute after he was stopped by Nick Rimando.
Bayern had all kinds of chances to
extend their lead but could not beat Rimando, who stopped two shots by Xherdan Shaqiri and one by Julian Green late in
the first half. The MLS all-stars may have had the better of the play in the first half as captain Thierry Henry, playing perhaps his last All-Star Game, was in
But the fireworks came after MLS coach Caleb Porter made nine changes to start the second half and a 10th a few minutes later as he
brought on Landon Donovan for Henry.
First, Henry's Red Bulls teammate, Bradley Wright-Phillips, showed why
he is MLS's leading scorer, hitting a left-footed shot after passes from Bobby Boswell and Erick Torres that left backup
Bayern keeper Tom Starke, starting in place of Manuel Neuer, no chance.
By the second all-stars' goal,
Neuer, the first of eight Bayern Munich players who had arrived from Munich early in the afternoon for the Wednesday night game, was in goal, but he could do nothing to stop Donovan. Diego Valeri, one of three Timbers players who came on in the second half, hit a ball over the top of the Bayern defense that Donovan ran on to and blasted past Neuer
for the go-ahead goal against the team which he once played for on a short and unhappy loan spell.
But the game would be marred by controversy as first Osvaldo Alonso went in on a hard challenge on Shaqiri and was issued a yellow card. Guardiola looked over at Porter and glared. Porter gave a look like it wasn't his idea for Alonso to
go in hard on Shaqiri.
But when it happened ahead, Guardiola was livid. Will Johnson was issued a card for a foul on Bastian Schweinsteiger. The Bayern star had flown 12 hours to play in the game and left minutes after entering with what Guardiola described as an ankle injury.
staff refused to shake Porter's hand after the game -- Guardiola and Porter did shake outside their locker rooms later, according to U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati -- and
Guardiola went to midfield to berate referee Jair Marrufo.
"Eight players came here 12 hours just to play this game and to play as best as
possible," said Guardiola. "And we tried to respect the rules of the game and fair play and play as best as possible."
Porter was sympathetic to Guardiola's concerns about the
fouls and injury to Schweinsteiger. "I understand his frustration completely," he said, "because they are in preseason. I understand completely why there was some emotion there, but we
certainly didn't mean to do anything negative in the game. We have the utmost respect for Bayern, their players, Pep. This guy is an idol of mine. I think there were a couple of tackles that went
Guardiola said he wanted a rematch. "I expect they [MLS] are going to invite us next year to make the revenge," he said, "and I'm going to prepare a little bit
better. Now we will be sure what's going on, so we'll prepare much better. Then we'll do it. I hope our invitation is coming."
The Alonso and Johnson fouls and Guardiola's reaction
were unfortunate as they overshadowed what was a memorable evening for MLS and its players and the 21,733 fans in attendance at Providence Park.
There were 18 players -- seven for the MLS
stars and 11 for Bayern -- who played in the All-Star Game and had played in this summer's World Cup, but the game's MVP was Donovan, the player who was dropped from the U.S. World Cup.
After the game, the one MLS player Guardiola hugged was Henry, who played for him for two seasons at Barcelona. "It was an honor for me to train, to be his trainer," said Guardiola, full of
praise for how Henry helped him in his first season at Barca. After all the other players had exited, Henry, the star of the All-Star Game week on and off the field, walked all alone and circled the
field to salute the fans.
As the game was drawing to a close, the Timbers fans broke in a chant, "Caleb Porter!" But the Portland coach, the all-star coach for the evening, was
uncomfortable with all the attention directed his way.
"The players were up for it," he said. "The players enjoyed it. That's what the game is about: the players."
Aug. 6 in
MLS All-Stars 2 Bayern Munich 1. Goals: Wright-Phillips 51, Donovan 70; Lewandowski 8.
All-Stars -- Rimando (Hamid, 46); Yedlin (Franklin, 46), Collin (Edu, 46), Besler (Ridgewell, 46), Parkhurst (Boswell, 46); Zusi (Valeri, 46), Cahill (Alonso, 46), Bradley (Johnson, 46), Henry
(Donovan 48; Dwyer, 71); Dempsey (Wright-Phillips, 46), Martins (Torres, 46).
Bayern Munich -- Starke (Neuer 62), Alaba (Robben 86), Martinez, Rafinha,
Rode (Mueller, 80), Gaudino (Dante, 62), Bernat (B.Schweinsteiger, 80), Shaqiri (Goetze, 81), Hoejbjerg (Boateng 73), Pizarro (Green 37; Lahm, 82), Lewandowski (Contento 80).