Bayern to play MLS All-Stars in 2014
German giants Bayern Munich will play Major League Soccer's All-Stars on Aug. 6, 2014 at JELD-WEN Field, as part of Bayern Munich’s 2014 North American tour next year.
“The AT&T MLS All-Star Game is one of the premier soccer events on the North American sports calendar,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber in a press release. “We are pleased that Bayern Munich, one of the most prominent and successful clubs in the world, will be part of our All-Star celebration."
“The MLS All-Star Game is an important step for us concerning our international strategy. We see the United States as a very important market, and we want to familiarize our existing fans and followers as well as soccer fans in general with our brand, team and philosophy,” said Jöerg Wacker, FC Bayern Munich board member who oversees the internationalization strategy for the club.
Bayern Munich captured the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League title after defeating German rival Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at Wembley Stadium back in May. Bayern also added the Bundesliga and German Cup titles for an unprecedented treble to their long, storied history.
“It’s an honor for us to be the first German club to play the MLS All-Star Game. MLS is experiencing great development and we are very much looking forward to compete against the best players of MLS,” said Pep Guardiola, FC Bayern Munich head coach.
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.''
The Associated Press contributed to this report.