Normally the MLS All-Star game is a spirited exhibition between the best a league has to offer and a premier European club side.
The 2014 installment, played on Wednesday at Providence Park in Portland, Ore., was apparently too spirited for Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola, and some of his players, weren’t shy about protesting some of the challenges in the MLS All-Stars’ 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich.
Guardiola took it a step further after the match, refusing to shake hands with Portland Timbers and MLS All-Star manager Caleb Porter. Guardiola waved off Porter with a wag of the index finger.
It was the final image from a second half that saw the All-Stars rally from a one-goal deficit at halftime.
Sporting Kansas City stalwarts Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin and Graham Zusi all started for the All-Stars, and all made their third appearance.
Collin didn’t think Wednesday’s match was any more physical or intense than his previous two all-star appearances.
“I don’t see anything. All the guys, they were very into it and that’s why we won. “We had a lot of great players, everybody did a great job. I’m very proud of the team. Of course last year it was very intense. It was a great night.”
Dom Dwyer, Sporting KC’s fourth all-star, was brought on in the 71st minute for LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan, who scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal just moments before.
Donovan scored in the 70th minute off a feed from Diego Valeri, settling the ball and holding off two Bayern Munich defenders before slipping the ball past World Cup Golden Glove winner Manuel Neuer to become the top goal scorer in MLS All-Star game history.
“It was a great pass from Valeri and a great finish by Landon Donovan,” Collin said. “In the first half we did what we can, and I’m very happy for them.”
Collin, Besler and Zusi played the first 45 minutes that saw Bayern Munich take a one-goal lead into halftime.
Robert Lewandowski scored in the eighth minute to give his club the lead. He took a pass from Rafinha at the top of the 18-yard box, popped the ball up and then buried the ensuing half volley.
Lewandoski, making his Bayern Munich debut, led the Bundesliga with 20 goals for Borussia Dortmund last season.
The All-Stars equalized in the second half with some firepower of their own.
New York Red Bulls’ Bradley Wright-Phillips, the leading goal scorer in MLS, leveled the score in the 51st minute. He corralled a header from Bobby Boswell and unleashed a left-footed missile from just outside the penalty arc that curled inside the upper 90.
The MLS is now 6-3-1 against European clubs since switching to the current all-star format in 2005.
Sporting KC’s All-Stars aren’t leaving the Pacific Northwest anytime soon. The rest of the club will join them for Sunday’s match at Vancouver.
Sporting KC is looking for a sixth consecutive road victory and to stay atop Seattle in the Supporter’s Shield standings.
“It was a great experience,” Collin said. “We came here, we did the job and we’ll get to Vancouver.”