By DAN KARELL
If the latest reports are correct, next summer’s Major League Soccer All-Star Game opponent will be one of the biggest in league history.
According to a report in the Munich Evening News, German giants Bayern Munich will travel to the United States to face the MLS All-Stars in 2014, becoming the first ever German side to play in the annual summer friendly match. If true, it would be the second consecutive year that the MLS All-Stars face a new team from a new country, after AS Roma took down the All-Stars, 3-1, last July in Kansas City.
MLS has yet to publicly comment on the report or on the next opponent for the MLS All-Star Game.
The match, which will be played in Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon, has not been schedule yet because of the World Cup, with Bayern wanting to bring their best squad to face the MLS All-Stars. As such, it’s likely that the match could be pushed back into August instead of its usual time of late July.
The location of the All-Star game is interesting due to Adidas’ U.S. headquarters being located in the city. Adidas is the main sponsor of both MLS and Bayern, and it’s global headquarters are located in Herzogenaurach, Germany, about 115 miles north of Bayern’s Allianz Arena.
Back in October, the Munich Evening News and BILD reported that Bayern are set to open an office in New York in the next few months, seeing the possibilities for new revenue streams in the United States.
The last time that Bayern traveled to America was in 2004 as part of the Champions World series, defeating Manchester United, 4-2 on penalty kicks, in front of 58,121 fans at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Bayern have yet to comment on the latest reports.
What do you think of this report? Do you see Bayern coming to face the MLS All-Stars? Excited to hear this report? Do you believe that MLS could compete with Bayern? How would this affect the league’s growth?
Share your thoughts below.
I really don’t see how it makes logistical sense for Bayern Munich to play this game this year.
World Cup ends July 13th (got to believe the Germans make it to at least the semi-final, which means at minimum, they’ll have a game on July 12th-3rd place game)
German Super Cup is the last weekend of July
Bundesliga season begins the second weekend of August.
I just don’t see how Bayern Munich justify a trip to Portland in 2014 and traveling 9 time zones for one game.
And when would they do it; between the World Cup and the German Super Cup? Got to think the German players on Bayern Munich maybe 7 or 8 of them + potentially the 9 players who might see a part of the World Cup will be extended a furlough or at least a break from massive travel after the World Cup
So then you play it between the Super Cup and first game of the season; does Bayern Munich really want to have their first team travel 9 time zones less than 2 weeks before their season kicks off? I find it hard to imagine Bayern Munich wanting to do that to their first team
Maybe the solution is to move the date of the Super Cup; who knows, but again, will you get the best Bayern Munich team traveling on a World Cup year?
Keep the All Star game. Estrellas de Liga MX v MLS All Stars is pretty exciting! I also would love to see the retun of CONCACAF v the World. Both formats could be fun.
More tangibly, can we get a skills competition? That is the thing I tune in to see every NBA All Star Saturday night. Ultimate Striker competition (Penalties, Long Distance Shooting, Free Kick) Passing competition. Dribbling competition. Ultimate Keeper competition and etc.
Act like a real league and get rid of the silly All-Star game. It make MLS look even more Mickey Mouse.
Not all turf fields are created equal. Jeld-Wen boasts one, that according to many turf cynics (Beckham, Henry), plays quite well.
Also, a turf field like the one at Jeld-Wen is better than 90% all but the really good, high-end grass pitches (that cost millions to maintain). So yeah, you COULD put grass in some of these Pacific Northwest stadia, but the playing surface would not be very good (think lower-level EPL teams that have multi-use grass pitches, like Wigan Athletic, who would be much better off playing of good turf, IMO.
I agree that JW’s turf is top end. AstroTurf is the surface that gave artificial turf a bad name and it has never recovered. If FieldTurf and modern turfs had been the original generation, no doubt many would still prefer natural grass, but it wouldn’t be so shrouded in controversy with regard to injuries, etc.
For anyone under 30 who has never seen actual AstroTurf think 1 inch thick, stiff, ScotchBrite pad laid on concrete. Slide and you will get a rug burn every single time, sometimes even worse – literal road rash. The ball rolls on it as though you are playing in a hard floored gym.
Listen, I am willing to defend good turf. I am willing to defend the necessity of turf fields in the Northwest. Given the choice however, I would pick great grass over great turf every time and ONLY because you can do more with the ball on great grass (the rest is equal in my mind). It is nearly impossible to place a perfectly weighted through ball in turf – even the good stuff because there isn’t enough friction and mechanical energy dissipation (“force absorption”) between the surface and the ball to kill its momentum on turf and the ball bounces more and rolls further so many balls roll to the keeper or out for a goalkick. It is also easier to dribble, control and pass on grass (because the ball will die at your feet without a lot of effort). JW’s turf is better, but it still isn’t the same as grass from a play standpoint.
Is it really that hard to grow grass in Portland? I know the amount of rain is problematic with sports played on grass. But isn’t there a way we can get a permanent grass field that can stand up to the wear and tear of the weather in Portland? I hate seeing a high profile match with the worlds best team on turf. (I know it’s not really a competitive match.) Its a shame that Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver play on these fields. Some of the best fans deserve better.
No, grass grows here. But it does rain from November until the 4th of July (with the temperature being the only real difference). JeldWen once upon a time had grass and it had to be resodded about 6-8 times a year. With the roof and large buildings around the pitch grass has a hard time growing roots deep enough to actually play on. Don’t forget Vancouver and Seattle are both further North than Montreal and Toronto and Portland is essentially equal to Montreal but further north than Toronto (it is just the entire region has that giant heat sink called the Pacific Ocean right next to it so the temperature is not arctic cold … but the daylight hours are fewer except for the summer when it is warm and dry. Then add steady dampness and it just generally is not ground that holds up well to abuse. Most grass soccer fields in the Northwest are summer and early fall only deals as they are sloppy, sloshy messes (from November to June).
JeldWen is also built in a creek bed (creek still flows through a large pipe under the pitch) and field level is 2 stories below ground level. There just isn’t a whole lot of places for water to go when it rains hard (before the stadium was there, the area used to flood regularly).
Also, don’t forget that the Timbers don’t own JeldWen, the City of Portland does. The CoP has a long term lease agreement also with Portland State Univ football who plays there too (as well as usually some high school football). Many of the citizens of Portland freaked out when the city chipped in $24 million for the soccer renovation that made it impossible for baseball to be played there. If they kicked out D2 football and HS football and truly made it soccer only, I think grass might be dooable with a multimillion dollar investment in new drainage and grow lights AND it becomes only the Timbers and Thorns stadium. The city wouldn’t like the lost use and lost revenue AND someone would then have to probably go out and build another $50ish (maybe more) million dollar stadium for football. That may happen someday … but a more likely scenario is that the Timbers move out of JW and build their own 30-40k stadium somewhere that gets rid of many of these obstacles. As a PTFC fan since the 70s, that would be really difficult because most of us are rather attached to the stadium … yeah, we’d probably get over it, but it would be very difficult to duplicate the intimate charm of JW in a new stadium.
Awesome! We get to see the best team in the world up close! Kudos to MLS for aspiring to be great! Bayern and the Bundasliga is what every team in the MLS should be trying to model itself after.
I wonder if we’ll see a Julian Green spoting.
The format is stupid.
It pits arguably the best team in the world against a group of good players who have little to no experience playing together as a team.
Also, they are playing the game in one of the smallest stadiums.
I would vote for east v west all-stars, if we have to play the game at all. Of course, that would obviate the need for a larger stadium, too. Solves both problems.
I’d like to see MLS all stars vs Mexico all stars, held in cowboys stadium. Why not make that happen?
Now you’re talking. Instead of getting a top European team in pre-season to jog through the motions, settle some bragging rights. Get top Liga MX players against MLS all-stars.
Jerrydome might be a stretch though.
That would be great to watch, but it would be injury city. I don’t think MLS teams would allow that.
I actually like the MLS All-Stars vs. Foreign team format, but am tired of seeing the All-stars have two days to practice and then play a superclub who will destroy them. Instead of Bayern, Man U., etc, what about Aston Villa, Athletic Madrid or someone like that? I thought the Fulham/All-Stars game a while back was great to watch.
I hear you. But now that its coming to Portland, I’m excited for the city, and looking forward to attending. It ends up being a good thing for the fans, even if it’s just one city per year. It will be a special summer night.
The only “superclubs” they’ve played are Chelsea and United, and they’ve won two out of those four games. They beat Chelsea just last season.
I hate this MLS all-star format. It should be just MLS All-Stars. Period. East vs West.
Or better yet, just ditch the All-Star game altogether. Does anyone really care that much about it?
It pops the TV ratings…
Even Bayern can’t get me excited about this over-hyped friendly. It’s always a snooze fest, and sometimes downright embarrassing for the league (our match-fit best XI losing to a Euro team in pre-season form does not reflect well on MLS).
Portland is the right city, but the All-Star game is still lame.
If you think that a fan-selected team of 11 who have barely ever played together should beat one of the best sides in the world simply because they’re in preseason form, you don’t know how winning works.
I forgot about the fan selected thing… let the ballot stuffing begin. Its the only way some that will be elected would ever make a league all-star team. Of course that also means we would have no chance of winning
Yes, the league front office and sponsors. With MLS Cup no longer in a pre-determined venue, the ASG is the best way for the MLS to do business/wine&dine corporate sponsors. It is a business, after all…
And in a league in constant flux, it gets all the bigwigs, coaches, top players and the like in one place for a couple days, helps build relationships. The same thing happens in baseball, football an basketball, and everyone in those sports already knows each other. Every industry has trade conferences, this is MLS’
Especially (but not only) in a World Cup year, the All-Star game and other in-season friendlies are an embarrassing distraction for MLS. The last thing the league and its clubs need are more meaningless games in the middle of a crowded schedule that already features 34 regular-season matches, the Open Cup, and (for some teams) CONCACAF matches. It’s embarrassing because it is an implict admission by MLS that it needs validation from European clubs (and fans of those clubs) so much that it is willing to interrupt its own season for these games. Would Bayern squeeze in a game against an MLS club in, say, March so the MLS could get in a nice pre-season match?
Or maybe they have it because All Star games happen in EVERY other American sports league.
And that makes it right? Just look at the wonderful level of interest in the all-star games in the other sports. From the level of play, I think the players in those other sports would just as soon do away with their all-star games.
Is it an admission that they need validation, or that they need to be promoted/marketed? What would truly be embarrassing would be arrogantly pretending like MLS is on par with and has nothing to learn and/or gain by interacting with those at the top.
It is good business to be in touch with the truth about where you stand and accepting that there is something to be gained by bringing in one of the best clubs in the world to help promote your up and coming league.
I see your point, but I guess I disagree about both the costs and benefits of games like this. I think the cost is too high in terms of disruption, etc. and I am not convinced about the long-term promotional benefits. And for me it is irksome to the extent it sends the message that MLS needs big Euro clubs to be taken seriously. I tend to see it as a tacit admission that MLS need not be taken seriously for itself.
The first requirement in being seen in a serious light is being seen. They need to do everything they can to make that happen.
Fair enough. We just disagree about how much of “everything” they should do. I respect your view.
I believe the Man U-Bayern game was in 2005.
They will be coming without their top talent and will still win. I just wonder how much tickets.r gonna be for 20 000 seat stadium.
For example, i went to juarez, mexico across the border fron el paso tx to see mexico national team twice and tbe cheapest ticket was 90 dollars and that wss behind the goal 🙁
But i also think timbers deserve a 30 000seater, just like sounders deserve.a 45 000 seater.
They should remodel timbers stadium like european stadiums.
Though that would be awesome and they would certainly fill it, the Timbers just spend a decent amount of money remodeling their current stadium to prepare for their jump to MLS — So I doubt you’ll see anything like that in the near future.
Not entirely sure about that. Teams have come with strong squads in the past- that’s what we’re paying them for. With the exception of Man U’s B team, I don’t remember the last high profile club that didn’t bring some big names.
Guess you didn’t read the article.
“The match, which will be played in Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon, has not been schedule [sic] yet because of the World Cup, with Bayern wanting to bring their best squad to face the MLS All-Stars.”
Do you mean Nike’s headquarters are located in Portland?
Crazy that this would leak out so far in advance, usually these are announced just a few months ahead of time. Wonder how solid this deal is.
Adida’s Nrth American headquarters are in Portland. Nike’s global HQ is in the Portland metro area (Beaverton) as well. And lots of other smaller shoe companies. We like shoes 🙂
Sorry, computer problems: *Adidas’s North American headquarters are in Portland.*
That’s whats up!
I believe Nike is in Beaverton. The article is correct regarding Adidas US HQ.
Adidas HQ is about 4 miles from Jeld Wen Field. Nike HQ is about 8 miles away, so there’s not a huge difference.