MLS All-Stars to face Bayern Munich in 2014

The 2014 Major League Soccer All-Star game will be against

legendary German club Bayern Munich, the reigning European and

Bundesliga champions.

The All-Star game will be played in August at Jeld-Wen Field,

home of the Portland Timbers. The MLS All-Star game has pitted

league stars against top-flight foreign clubs for the past 10

years.

The match will conclude a weeklong tour of North America,

Bayern’s first trip to the region in a decade. Also the reigning

German Cup champion, Munich is currently ranked atop the Bundesliga

and hasn’t dropped a league match.

The team’s itinerary for the tour, apart from the All-Star game,

has not been announced.

”Becoming the first German club to contest the MLS All-Star

Game is an honor,” Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said on the club’s

official website. ”MLS has developed very positively in recent

years and we’re looking forward to taking on the league’s best

players.”

Joerg Wacker, a Munich board member who overseas

internationalization strategy for the club, said it is hoped the

tour will attract new supporters to the century-old team. Bayern

has won a Bundesliga-best 23 league championships and five

Champions League titles.

”We want to bring our brand, our team and our philosophy to the

West and to our fans here,” Wacker said.

The team last played in the United States in 2005, when they

defeated Manchester United on penalties at Chicago’s Soldier

Field.

Bayern has been aligned for more than 50 years with Adidas, the

German shoemaker that has its North American headquarters in

Portland. The campus hosted a news conference Thursday to announce

Munich’s participation.

”I knew that Adidas was pushing it and I knew that Bayern was

amenable, so I had a pretty good idea,” said Timbers owner Merritt

Paulson, who campaigned for the All-Star game.

Last season’s MLS All-Star game was played in Kansas City

against AS Roma, which won 3-1.

Next season’s All-Star match was pushed back to Aug. 6 to make

it easier on players participating in the 2014 World Cup, said Mark

Abbott, president and deputy commissioner of Major League

Soccer.

The All-Stars will be coached by Caleb Porter, who led the

Timbers to a 14-5-15 record this season and a spot in the Western

Conference finals. Porter was named the MLS coach of the year.

”One of the great stories in Major League Soccer over the last

number of years has been the enormous fan passion, civic support

and stadium atmosphere in Portland,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber

said. ”We look forward to showcasing this phenomenon to the rest

of the world.”