MLS All-Stars Shock Pep's Bayern Munich with Intensity and Stunning Goals

Created on Aug. 07, 2014 10:18 AM EST

In the early stages of Wednesday night's MLS All-Star game in Portland, Oregon, Bayern Munich looked as if they would stroll to victory. Newly arrived striker Robert Lewandowski's wonderstrike opened scoring for Bayern and signaled that the German giants were taking the match seriously. Bayern enjoyed a significant advantage in possession and scoring opportunities, thwarted only by several fantastic saves by Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando. His five first half saves earned him comparisons to Tim Howard, and introduced many to another top American goalkeeping talent.

Portland and MLS All-Star manager, Caleb Porter made ten substitutions at halftime. His choice to bring on fourteen time All-Star Landon Donovan and leading MLS scorer, Bradley Wright-Phillips to replace Thierry Henry and Graham Zusi. Both were proven to be correct decisions by Caleb Porter. His management was rewarded six minutes into the second half when BWP unleashed a venomous left footed shot from outside the penalty area to level the score at 1. 

The match devolved slightly in the second half, with both sides earning fouls for questionable tackles. As the German squad influence was introduced for Bayern, the match grew into a testy affair. Osvaldo Alonso was shown a yellow card for a hard challenge on Xherdan Shaqiri. Following this incident, Pep Guardiola expressed his displeasure on the sidelines and gestured for Porter to control his players. Porter shrugged off the incident as part of the game.

Just five minutes following Alonso's yellow card incident, the MLS All-Stars found their breakthrough. Diego Valeri played a fantastic looping cross into Landon Donovan, which Landycakes controlled and smashed past the world's best keeper, Manuel Neuer. Neuer attempted to correct his mistake by leading counter attacking moves with his pinpoint accuracy on throws. His efforts led to a spectacular chance by Juan Bernat that was denied by a Bill Hamid reaction save.

In the late stages of the match, Bayern continued to fight for a tying goal. Thomas Muller earned himself a prime opportunity through some backheel passing, but his shot was again denied by Hamid. Following the final whistle, Pep Guardiola walked away from the pitch angry. He refused to shake hands with Caleb Porter and wagged his finger at the Timbers manager in Dikembe Mutombo fashion. His staff of assistants also refused to acknowledge the All-Stars manager in an incident that was both disrespectful and childish. Pep later claimed he did not see the MLS coaching staff. 

In interviews prior to the match, Porter revealed that he had studied Guardiola and idolized him as a manager. Porter stated that he emulated the possession tactics utilized by Pep's Barcelona and Bayern sides. Porter was also a spectator at a training session when Pep was in charge of Barcelona. Sunil Gulati later tweeted that a post-match handshake did take place outside the locker room, but the public was left of the image of Caleb Porter being left hanging by his managerial idol.

From an outside perspective, it looks as if Bayern were not prepared for the level of quality and intensity that the MLS All-Stars brought to the pitch. The growing league is always eager to display its collective talents against one of the elite clubs in the world, and this match proved that the league does possess a significant level of talent. Pep's squad showed that they are still in a preseason training mentality, while the MLS squad was in mid season form. The disparate intensity levels demonstrated this. For the sixth time in league history, the MLS All-Stars have stunned a European opponent that underestimated their commitment and skill.