MLS All-Star Team vs. Bayern Munich | AT&T MLS All-Star Game Preview
MLS ALL-STARS v FC BAYERN MUNICH
PROVIDENCE PARK, Portland, Ore.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
7.30 p.m. MT (ESPN2; UniMás)
The 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game will again feature an historic matchup, as the MLS All-Stars take on a club from Germany’s Bundesliga for the first time with FC Bayern Munich providing the opposition. Bayern last year won the Bundesliga – their 24th domestic title – and also captured the DFB-Pokal (Germany’s domestic cup), while reaching the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League in defense of a title they won for a fifth time in 2013.
THE OPPOSITION: Founded in 1900, FC Bayern Munich have been the dominant club in German football with 24 titles, winning 6 of the last 10 titles. Bayern have reached 10 European Cup/UEFA Champions League finals, most recently winning their fifth title in 2013 as part of a continental treble. Bayern have also won one UEFA Cup, one European Cup Winners' Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one FIFA Club World Cup and two Intercontinental Cups, making them one of the most successful European clubs internationally. The club had their period of greatest success in the middle of the 1970s when, under the captaincy of Franz Beckenbauer, they won the European Cup three times in a row (1974–76).
BAYERN LAST SEASON: FC Bayern Munich last season won the Bundesliga for a 24th time – capturing the title with seven weeks to spare, the earliest ever for a club to win the championship. At one point in the season, Bayern won 19 matches in succession, 10 in a row on the road and did not lose in a national record 53 outings. Bayern also won the DFB-Pokal final, defeating Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in extra time. The club’s bid to become the first team to successfully defend the UEFA Champions League title was denied at the semifinal stage when they lost to Real Madrid CF.
THE FORMAT: This is the 11th time the MLS All-Stars have taken on international competition in the All-Star Game. The MLS teams hold a 7-3-1 record; they have outscored their opponents 20-19.
A year ago, AS Roma defeated the MLS All-Stars 3-1 at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. Kevin Strootman put Roma ahead after just four minutes, then All-Star Game MVP Alessandro Florenzi doubled the lead two minutes after the halftime break. Junior Tallo made it 3-0 in the 69th minute, before Omar Gonzalez scored in stoppage time for the MLS All-Stars.
The 2012 event was again a rematch, as the MLS All-Stars defeating Chelsea FC of the English Premier League 3-2 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. It was a rematch of the 2006 game, won 1-0 by the MLS All-Stars at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.
Manchester United FC provided the opposition each of the two previous years. United won 4-0 in 2011 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., after winning 5-2 in 2010 at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
In 2009, English Premier League side Everton FC ended the five-game winning streak by the MLS All-Stars in a penalty kick shootout after a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes. Everton FC goalkeeper Tim Howard received the game’s Most Valuable Player award after making three saves in the penalty decider.
In 2008, the MLS All-Stars defeated English Premier League side West Ham United 3-2 in Toronto, the first All-Star Game played outside the USA. In 2007, the MLS All-Stars defeated Scottish Premier League power Celtic FC 2-0, while in 2005, the MLS All-Stars defeat English Premier League club Fulham FC 4-1 at Columbus Crew Stadium. In 2003, the MLS All-Stars downed Mexican club CD Guadalajara 3-1 at The Home Depot Center.
The 2003 contest was the second consecutive year a single team of MLS All-Stars was selected for the midseason classic, as the year before the MLS All-Stars took on a US national team selection following the USA’s historic quarterfinal performance at FIFA World Cup 2002 Korea/Japan. All 18 of the players selected by Bruce Arena for the match plied their trade in MLS. In 1998, an international theme was also used in the MLS All-Star Game as a team of US MLS stars took on a squad comprised of international MLS stars. Each of the other seven All-Star Games has featured an East vs. West format.
RULES OF COMPETITION: All players in the squad for both teams are eligible to play. Each team will be allowed to make up to 10 substitutions. At the end of 90 minutes, if the teams are tied, no extra time will be played and the game will be decided by kicks from the penalty mark.
AGAINST THE BUNDESLIGA: A fifth different league will provide the opposition when the Bundesliga’s Bayern Munich face the MLS All-Stars this year. On seven occasions, clubs from the English Premier League have taken on the MLS All-Stars (Chelsea FC (twice), Manchester United FC (twice), Everton FC, West Ham United FC and Fulham FC). Teams from Italy’s Serie A (AS Roma), the Scottish Premier League (Celtic FC) and Mexico’s FMF Primera División (CD Guadalajara) have also faced the best of MLS.
THE REFEREES: Jair Marrufo will be the referee for the 2014 MLS All-Star Game. In his 13th season as a Major League Soccer referee, this is Grajeda’s second appearance in the MLS All-Star Game; he ran the center in the 2011 contest between the MLS All-Stars and Manchester United. In 2008, Marrufo was named the MLS Referee of the Year. The assistant referees are Claudio Badea and Corey Parker. It is the first All-Star Game for both assistant referees. The fourth official is Ismail Elfath.
TEAM SELECTION: The 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star team was selected in four phases. A total of 32 All-Stars are named each year, per the collective bargaining agreement.
• Ballot creation: Media members determined the field of players – eight players per team – who were most deserving of consideration for this year’s AT&T MLS All-Star Game. Those 152 players were eligible for fan voting.
• Fan voting: The All-Star Fan XI was then selected through three digital platforms – at MLSsoccer.com, via text message (SMS) and on Twitter. The 10 players with the highest combined votes were named to the All-Star Fan XI. The 11th player – a forward – on the Fan XI was decided after the general voting window closed, as part of the AT&T / EA SPORTS “More Than a Vote” Challenge. Among remaining forwards on the ballot, the player with whom fans scored the most goals in EA SPORTS™ FIFA Soccer 13 by July 11 was named to the Fan XI.
• Team selection: The MLS All-Star head coach, Caleb Porter of the Portland Timbers, selected the gameday roster from the pool of eligible players, consisting of the Fan XI, MLS Commissioner Don Garber’s two selections and players who received votes from at least two players.
• Player selections: Once the final gameday roster was announced, voting by MLS players determined the remainder of the 32 All-Stars named annually per the collective bargaining agreement (known as the “inactive roster”). The final 32 All-Stars will be comprised of 4 goalkeepers, 8 defenders, 13 midfielders and 7 forwards.
THE FAN XI: The MLS All-Star Fan XI received the most votes at their respective positions from combined fan voting on two platforms – online at MLSsoccer.com and via Twitter.
The Fan XI is not necessarily the starting lineup. The MLS All-Star starters will be selected by head coach Caleb Porter based on player availability and tactical considerations. A 3-4-3 formation was selected for this year’s Fan XI.
Goalkeeper: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders FC – AT&T/EA SPORTS “More than a Vote” Challenge winner)
‘MORE THAN A VOTE’ FORWARD: Seattle Sounders FC forward Obafemi Martins earned his place on the Fan XI through the innovative AT&T/EA SPORTS MLS All-Star ‘More Than a Vote’ Challenge. Fans scored more than 1 million goals with Martins in FIFA 14, with one goal equaling one vote. Other players who finished in the top five of ‘More Than a Vote’ Challenge were Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls) and Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy).
THE REST: The MLS All-Star Game gameday roster, as selected by head coach Caleb Porter, includes 23 players. Each of the players named to the Fan XI have been included in the squad.
Both players selected by MLS Commissioner Don Garber – Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri and Chivas USA forward Erick Torres – were part of the gameday squad.
THE REPLACEMENTS: On Aug. 1, head coach Caleb Porter selected Philadelphia Union midfielder Maurice Edu and D.C. United defenders Bobby Boswell and Sean Franklin as replacements for Seattle Sounders FC defender Chad Marshall, LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane and LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez.
Marshall will miss the game due to injury, while Keane and Gonzalez will miss the All-Star festivities in order to prepare for the Galaxy’s regular season game on Friday, Aug. 8 against the San Jose Earthquakes.
“Given the limited minutes that Omar and Robbie would need to play due to having a game on Friday and the injury to Chad, I felt we needed to bring in Sean, Bobby and Maurice to provide us with more cover in the back,” Porter said. “This will also allow us to manage the other players’ time so everyone is ready for their matches on the weekend.”
Then on Aug. 2, Dom Dwyer of Sporting Kansas City was added to the roster when Toronto FC’s Jermain Defoe had to be held out of the league game with the Montréal Impact because of an injury.
Liam Ridgewell of the Portland Timbers was added during All-Star week after Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman was unable to play because of injury.
MLS ALL-STAR GAMEDAY ROSTER
Goalkeepers: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Bobby Boswell (D.C. United), Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Sean Franklin (D.C. United), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), Liam Ridgewell (Portland Timbers), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
Midfielders: Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Will Johnson (Portland Timbers), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Forwards: Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders FC), Erick Torres (Chivas USA), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)
HEAD COACH: The MLS All-Stars will be coached by Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter, joined by his technical staff as assistant coaches.
Head coach Caleb Porter guided the Portland Timbers on a record-setting, turnaround season in 2013, his first season in MLS and as the club’s head coach. Porter was named the 2013 MLS Coach of the Year after leading Portland to a 14-5-15 record and a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since the club joined the league in 2011. Porter’s winning percentage (.632) in 2013 ranked among the best in league history for first-year MLS head coaches. Prior to joining the Timbers, Porter was one of the most successful coaches in NCAA history during his tenure as head coach at the University of Akron from 2006-12, winning the NCAA College Cup appearances in 2010. As a player, Porter spent time with San Jose Clash and the Tampa Bay Mutiny in MLS before a knee injury ended his professional career in 2000.
BY TEAM: The holders of the best overall record in MLS at the All-Star break, Seattle Sounders FC, lead all teams with four representatives on the MLS gameday squad. Sporting Kansas City have four players in the team, while the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United each have three players in the team. In all, 11 of the 19 MLS teams are represented.
EXPERIENCE: Fourteen players named to the MLS All-Star gameday roster have previously participated in the All-Star game.
U.S. national team star Landon Donovan, who now holds the all-time record with his 14 selections to the MLS All-Star Game, has played in 11 games (starting five), also the most in league history. Eight other players have played in multiple All-Star games, led by Kyle Beckerman, who has played in four, and Nick Rimando and Thierry Henry, who have played in three. Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, Michael Parkhurst, Will Johnson and Aurelien Collin have played in two.
Five players – Clint Dempsey, Osvaldo Alonso, Sean Franklin, DeAndre Yedlin and Bobby Boswell – have all played in one previous All-Star Game.
INTERNATIONALS ON PARADE: Among the Fan XI, eight of the 11 players chosen came from the United States national team's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while the other three shared eight World Cup participations between them.
Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders), Matt Besler and Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), and Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) all represented the USA in Brazil, while Landon Donovan, appeared for the U.S. in the 2002, 2006, 2010 World Cups and has more goals than any other U.S.-born player in World Cup play.
Rounding out the group is Obafemi Martins, who represented Nigeria in the 2010 World Cup, and Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls, who was a World Cup winner in 1998, and a participant in 2002, 2006 and 2010 with France.
Among the additional players selected to the All-Star gameday roster, goalkeeper Bill Hamid (D.C. United), defenders Sean Franklin and Bobby Boswell (Seattle Sounders FC) and Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), and midfielders Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Will Johnson (Portland Timbers) and Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers) have all represented their country. Cahill was a member of Australia’s team in the 2014 World Cup.
On the other side, Bayern Munich field seven players in Germany's World Cup-winning team, and a total of 14 players who represented their respective country at the 2014 World Cup.
DEBUTANTS: Nine players will be making their first appearances for the MLS All-Stars. Six have been selected as All-Stars for the first time: Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Dom Dwyer (Sporting Kansas City), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders FC), Erick Torres (Chivas USA), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers) and Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls). Tim Cahill was selected in 2013, but did not play, while Maurice Edu was an additional selection in 2008.
The most debutants for any single MLS team in the current format was 14, in 2009.
RETURNEES: Nine players who were named to the 2013 MLS All-Star team have returned to play this year. Six players were in the starting team vs. AS Roma – Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Aurélien Collin (Sporting Kansas City), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), Will Johnson (Portland Timbers) and Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls). Three players came on as substitutes in the match --
Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC) and Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy).
Michael Bradley – an MLS All-Star this year – was a starter and played 90 minutes for AS Roma last year. He could be the first player to play on both sides of the All-Star Game in successive years.
Just two players who played in the 2008 MLS All-Star Game – Landon Donovan and Cuauhtémoc Blanco – were part of the gameday squad for the 2009 contest. That was the fewest number of returning players from one year to the next in the MLS vs. the World format. In 2008, 10 players who appeared in the 2007 All-Star Game saw action against West Ham United, the most returnees in any year in the current format.
RECORD HOLDER: With his 14th selection to an MLS All-Star Game, Landon Donovan is the all-time MLS leader in All-Star selections. Donovan has been selected every season since his rookie year of 2001. He has played in 11 MLS All-Star Games and was twice elected as a starter, but unable to play (2006, 2011). In his 11 appearances, Donovan has scored five goals and added four assists, and was named MLS All-Star Game MVP in 2001, when he scored four goals.
TOPS ON THE CHARTS: The top three men in the MLS Golden Boot standings are all members of the MLS All-Star squad. Bradley Wright-Phillips of the New York Red Bulls leads the league with 18 goals, while Chivas USA’s Erick Torres and Sporting KC’s Dom Dwyer are tied for second with 14.
The league’s assist leader with 10, Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls, is also in the All-Star squad, as is Diego Valeri of the host Portland Timbers, tied for second with 8 assists.
AGAINST THE WORLD: Landon Donovan has played in eight All-Stars against international competition, the most of any MLS player. Among current All-Stars, seven others have played in multiple games in the current format, with Kyle Beckerman having four appearances, and Thierry Henry with three. Those with two include: Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Will Johnson, Michael Parkhurst, Nick Rimando and Graham Zusi.
Dwayne De Rosario has scored three goals in the MLS vs. The World format, most of any MLS player. Only he and Jeff Cunningham have scored multiple goals in the current matchup. No current All-Stars have scored against the international opposition.
RARE ROOKIES INCLUDED: While no rookies have been included in this year’s MLS All-Star Game, the only two rookies to be part of the MLS squad in the current MLS vs. The World format are both included in the squad this year: Michael Parkhurst (2005, vs. Fulham FC) and DeAndre Yedlin (2013, vs. AS Roma).
PLAYING BOTH SIDES: Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley and New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill have the opportunity to experience a rare occurrence if they play in the 2014 MLS All-Star Game: playing on both sides of the midsummer matchup.
Just one player has played on both sides in the MLS vs. The World format: Omar Bravo. Bravo came on as a 75th-minute substitute for CD Guadalajara in the first game under the current format in 2003, then, in 2011, Bravo started for the MLS All-Stars in the match vs. Manchester United at Red Bull Arena.
Bradley played 90 minutes for AS Roma in their 3-1 win vs. MLS last year, while Cahill started and played 76 minutes for Everton FC in 2009. Cahill was selected the MLS All-Star team last year, but did not play due to injury.
Other past MLS All-Stars have played for the foreign opposition, but none were part of the MLS team under the current format. Tim Howard was an All-Star in 2001, ’02 and ’03, while also playing for Everton in 2009. Brian McBride was an MLS All-Star every year from 1996-2003; he played 61 minutes for Fulham in 2005. McBride was an additional MLS All-Star selection in 2009. Carlos Bocanegra, an MLS All-Star in 2002 and ’03, also played for Fulham in 2005.
Bayern München midfielder Arjen Robben could be the second international to play for two different clubs in the MLS All-Star Game. Robben came on as a halftime substitute for Chelsea FC in 2006. Luis Boa Morte played in the 2005 All-Star Game for Fulham FC, then in 2008 with West Ham United FC.