Mexican Soccer

Pizarro lifts Bayern to victory over Chivas in testy friendly before MLS All-Star Game

Claudio Pizarro (Getty Images)


HARRISON, N.J. — Bayern Munich are heading to the MLS All-Star Game with a little bit of momentum.

Claudio Pizarro scored on a headed effort in the first half and Bayern Munich stood firm defensively to pick up a 1-0 win over Chivas de Guadalajara in an open and feisty friendly at Red Bull Arena on Thursday night.

The German club was in control of its first stateside preseason match for large stretches and outshot its Liga MX counterpart 12-5, but still needed a huge late save from goalkeeper Tom Starke to ensure a victory before next week’s clash with the MLS All-Stars.

“I’m so, so happy for our performance because we are (missing some key players),” said Bayern manager Pep Guardiola. “We have a lot of young, young players, but we have competed very well. That’s why I’m so, so, so proud because I didn’t expect to win our last tournament in Deutschland against Borussia Moenchengladbach and Wolfsburg and we did because the team played with a good attitude and today the same, so I’m happy.”

The decisive strike of the match played in front of 25,023 fans came in the 24th minute. Pizarro, a late addition to Bayern’s starting lineup, met a corner kick from the left from captain Franck Ribery and nodded it past Chivas goalkeeper Antonio Rodriguez.

U.S. Men’s National Team youngster Julian Green was on the match-day roster for Bayern, but did not enter the match as he only recently recovered from an injury.

“He just trained in two, three sessions. He needs a little bit more,” said Guardiola of Green. “The physios are going to tell me when he’s ready, he’s fit to play. It’s a pity because I know he played here with the U.S. National Team and all the people expect to see him, but he has a little bit problem in his knee and that’s why we have to take care him.”

It was an open affair from the onset, and Chivas attacker Angel Reyna had a good look on goal just minutes into the game when he pushed a shot at the top of the 18-yard box wide of the left post.

Bayern would respond with a number of chances, and Pizarro was at the center of many them. The Peruvian striker combined well with Ribery and Roberto Lewandoski, and had two shots that barely missed the mark sandwiched in between his goal.

“From the little we’ve been able to train, things are going well for us as a team,” said the 35-year-old Pizarro. “We won a title in preseason already as well as this game, which I think is important for us, and now we continue to prepare for the start of the Bundesliga.”

The match got testy throughout the first half, with several hard fouls being committed by both teams to make the game look anything but a friendly.

Chivas struggled throughout the 90 minutes to defend Bayern’s speedy flank players and also had a hard time when Bayern combined through the middle with quick passes and electric off-ball movement. But the Liga MX side got into a rhythm when a flurry of substitutions were made in the second half and could have found an equalizer had it been a bit sharper in the final third.

Substitute forward Carlos Fierro missed on a pair of good looks a few minutes apart. He hit a weak shot while running diagonally that Starke easily stopped and was incredibly denied again by a Starke kick save following a perfect cross from Sergio Napolo that perfectly found Fierro open in between both Bayern centerbacks.

“It was an intense game,” said Chivas head coach Carlos Bustos. “We of course can’t be happy with the result, but the performance of the team was good. We stood toe-to-toe with a team of great quality … and we had chances to change the result. What leaves is at peace is that the group is getting better, and for playing a team of this level, we did very well.”

Bayern looked to have taken a 2-0 lead a minute into second-half stoppage time, but the audacious chip from substitute Lucas Scholl that found the back of the net was negated due to an offside call.

The German heavyweights will now head to Portland, Oregon to take on the MLS All-Stars on Aug. 6.

“Now, it’s recover” said Guardiola. “Tomorrow we recover the players that played 90 minutes, 80 minutes and we can train one, two, three session that we need to train in this period. Then we prepare the last game against the MLS All-Stars and I’m pretty sure we are going to see a very, very good game next (Wednesday) in Portland.”


What do you think of Bayern’s 1-0 victory over Chivas? Impressed with the German club’s performance? Surprised by how chippy the first half was?

Share your thoughts below.


    Watching the chivas vs BM game should remember MLS and any market about getting a top mexican player, as a DP would be magic for the mexican fans.
    Imagine chicharito in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas. After World Cup Russia 2018 I see chicharito, Giovanni, Ochoa coming to MLS but I think the olde they get, it’s not the same as an international star like Lampard or villa or Beckham.
    I think a mexican loses profit and star power when they should come to MLS around 27 and up, not play hardball and wait. For instance, chicharito, Giovanni, guardado.


      • Ian

        Gio rejected the offers from Galaxy, worked nice for him as he is now the star of Villarreal and they even signed his brother to make him happy.


    • cformusic

      why would a Mexican player returning from European glory not go to Liga MX first before MLS? we’re only gonna get the old washed up or near washed up Mexicans (Blanco, Marquez)..and we’re gonna have to overpay for them..it’s not like Liga MX is a poor league and we can poach their talent for financial reasons..


      • haydenjo

        Blanco had a couple great years in chicago and played hard.
        Do not compare him to Marquez.


    • AcidBurn

      No big Mexican player will ever sign with MLS under its current economic and competitive structure. The mentality south of the border is that MLS is a glorified pub and retirement league.


  • Mouse

    How can countries like Peru develop players good enough for Bayern and the best we can do is a bottom of the table EPL?


    • Josh D

      Because Pizarro was already playing in Germany by 20ish.

      US players still fall behind everyone else in two key categories: Technique and speed of play. Our players’ soccer IQ is still well below average and that’s developed in the youth leagues.

      They did an interesting study with Rooney. They found that while his IQ is low, if you considered a soccer IQ, he was a genius. We need soccer geniuses not just athletes.


    • shorembo

      Peru – 30M
      Netherlands – 17M
      Belguim – 10M
      URUGUAY – 3M

      USA – 318M


      • slowleftarm

        That’s great except that in those countries soccer is not just the #1 sport, it’s pretty much the sole major sport. Whereas, in the US, soccer is probably #4, although I expect that to improve soon.


      • AcidBurn

        Bang on.

        Sports in Peru – soccer
        Sports in the US – football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer


      • Josh D

        Divide 318M by 5 (the number of sports identified) and you still get a population higher than Peru. Stats like population don’t matter. That’s why a team like Iceland almost qualified for the World Cup.

        It comes down to the individuals. Population size allows for a greater pool of players, but as we’ve seen ourselves for 20 years, a bigger size doesn’t mean much. I’d rather we have only 100 players but of those, 23 are world class.


      • Ian


        India – 1.2 billion
        China – 1.3 billion

        How many international stars have come out of India or China? None.


      • Ryan

        The Dutch also take speed skating pretty seriously. Other than that I got nothing in terms of other sports.


    • slowleftarm

      Plus, you’re talking about one player. It’s not like they’re churning out great players all the time. Overall, we’ve developed better players than Peru.


      • Mouse

        Cubillas, Sotil, Pizarro, Solano, Farfan, Guerreto…. not even close.


    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

      First you are talking one player. And that one player in the US, plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers ( btw there is more than one in the US too ).

      Second, the best US guys can do is bottom of EPL ? We have players in MLS.

      Third, Josh D, you have it completely backwards. We need the athletes in US soccer.


      • Josh D

        We have athletes. We have speed, strength, power, etc. We don’t have technical players who can dribble or pick a pass. And we don’t have smart players who can think before they get the ball and do things without thinking about them.

        It’s painful how slow our players are – even our elite ones. I’d say that Dempsey has developed the fastest brain, he and Jones. Others get the ball, put their head up, have a few seconds to think then make a crappy pass. It should be instinctive.


      • beachbum

        we need both the athletes and the technical development imo…both, not one or the other, and more

        anyway, re. the multitude of sports in the USA, the issue to me is we don’t have as many soccer kids training year round…the best athletes may play soccer or may not, but they play baseball and basketball too which means significantly less training time for kids in the formative years

        and it’s still not the playground sport in most places, the arena where so much is gained in these formative years imo


  • ATX_Colin

    I think Josh D has it a bit more correct. We have great athletes thats not the problem ( and please dont bring up if X athlete from the nba or nfl played soccer we would be great), our problem is the sytem they are developed through is not up to par. Had our boys grown up in a more mature club and national team system, many of them would be better player from a technical stand point.


    • Josh D

      Exactly, which why it’s exciting to see all these 12 year olds heading to European academies. It’s they who are the next evolution of the US soccer player. Our MLS academies are getting better but are no where near comparable to the European ones.

      And soccer isn’t a sport about size, which is where a ton of US fans get confused. The way football and basketball players are built doesn’t match the build of a great soccer player.

      Ronaldo is tall, but extremely lean – nothing like a football player or even basketball.

      Messi is short – nothing like any other athlete.

      Lahm is just normal sized – nothing like the other athletes.

      Very few players Crouch’s height can play soccer. So subtract half of NBA players from the pool of would-be soccer players. 50% of football players are obese and 50% of the remainder are just muscle heads.

      Soccer isn’t about the build. It’s how the player uses the build he has. I’d take a 5’5 player with a high soccer IQ, who knows how to pass, anticipate and dribble over someone built like Kenny Cooper.


      • bryan

        i do agree with you overall, but Ronaldo could play any sport, based on his body type, he wanted to and if he had the ability. if we continue with this hypothetical and turn his soccer ability into an ability in football, he would be a great safety or WR in the NFL. Toure could be a linebacker in another life.

        so again, i think there are plenty of athletes that have the body types for multiple sports but realistically a professional athlete is only going to have that elite ability in one sport. unless your name is Bo Jackson.


  • Matt

    It has nothing to do with “athletes”… if you watch the US team and listen to the opinions abroad, the US STRENGTH is that we are athletic and have a strong work ethic. Our goalkeeping is always world class because the keepers are versatile athletes. Our weakness is our skill/technique, awful identification and development system, and the fact players go to college. You can’t go pro at 22.. Messi and Mueller had already played in World Cups at that point.. Ronaldo/Pele had played in 2 and owned a winner’s medal. And if you want to close that argument, assume that JK was absolutely right and picked the 23 best players (20 of which are field players) for the last world cup. 5 of those players came from Germany and were sons of serviceman… a population of maybe 200-300K males vs. the 175 million males living in the US (obviously many are immigrants/foreigners but ignore those for the argument). Your telling me that statistically that small population produces that many more great athletes where soccer is a first choice vs the US where its not? 25% of the team from that small a sample size… US beats it by a factor of 500 to 800… statistically it doesn’t make sense.. however if you say that Germany has a much better development system to groom soccer players, and the US is deficient as others above have said.. it all makes complete sense and that’s where the US falls short


Add your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More from SBI Soccer