SBD/August 7, 2014/Events and Attractions

MLS All-Star Game Deemed A Rousing Success Before Sellout Crowd In Portland

Bayern coaches were unhappy with the physical play in the game
The MLS All-Stars beat Bundesliga club FC Bayern Munich 2-1 last night before a sold-out crowd of 21,733 at Providence Park in Portland, and although the game was "just an exhibition," the win "still put the growing MLS talent pool on display," according to Jamie Goldberg of the Portland OREGONIAN. Red Bulls F Bradley Wright-Phillips said, "It's great for the league. This is what we wanted. As a group we come together and we want to represent the league as well as we can and I think we did that tonight" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/7). In Seattle, Matt Pentz writes the game "lived up to the name," as a pair of MLS players "stole the show." Red Bulls F Thierry Henry "exited perhaps his final All-Star Game to a rousing ovation minutes into the second half," and Galaxy F Landon Donovan scored the winning goal. It was a "night of stars, from beginning to end" (SEATTLE TIMES, 8/7). The AP's Anne Peterson noted Bayern "had seven members of the World Cup-winning German national team, but most of them remained on the bench until near the final 10 minutes" (AP, 8/7). 

GETTING PHYSICAL: In Portland, Geoffrey Arnold notes Bayern coach Pep Guardiola was "unhappy with the physical nature" of the match and "refused to shake the hand of All-Stars coach Caleb Porter" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/7). In N.Y., Brian Lewis notes when asked if the MLS All-Stars had "played too rough, Guardiola shrugged ... but added that he learned from the game and hopes for 'revenge.'" He said he will be "waiting for the invitation (next year)" (N.Y. POST, 8/7).

RIP BANG: ESPN FC's Doug McIntyre wrote Portland was the "perfect host." It is a "soccer city, pure and simple, and the MLS All-Stars' matchup with mighty Bayern was the talk of the town in the lead-up to the contest" (, 8/6). ESPN soccer analyst Alexi Lalas said, "Portland is a city that has come to symbolize the soccer culture. It has come to almost define a whole generation: it forms how they talk, what they wear, how they view themselves within the community" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/7).

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: Lalas, on the state of MLS, said: “All this talk about expansion is a great reflection on the business of Major League Soccer and where it's going.” ESPN’s Kasey Keller added, “You look at the new TV contract that Major League Soccer has, it allows for that expansion. It allows for those big star players to come in and just to continue to raise the level of MLS. We understand how healthy the league is now. You couldn't have said that ten years ago.” Lalas said of what MLS can do to keep momentum going, "Double the salary cap. You go from $3 million to $6 million (and) you add a designated player. I know that won’t happen when it comes to the CBA, but you have to do something big and dramatic and bold when it comes to the money that’s being spent. Not so you can be the greatest league in the world, but so you can compete with other leagues in the world. The other thing is -- it's not for everybody. MLS is not for everybody and just because people tuned in for the World Cup doesn't mean that they are going to consistently want a diet of MLS” (“MLS All-Star Game,” ESPN2, 8/6).
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