Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich side lost to the MLS All-Stars, 2-1, during Wednesday night's exhibition, and he was not a happy Pep.
Following the final whistle, the 43-year-old manager blew off Portland Timbers and MLS All-Star head coach Caleb Porter, refusing to shake hands.
SportsCenter's Twitter provided a look at the tense moment along with the finger wag that would make Dikembe Mutombo blush:
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola was not happy with end of MLS All-Star Game, refusing to shake hands afterward. » http://t.co/fAbdQJChVa— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 7, 2014
Most believe the incident was a result of the MLS stars' physical play in the midfield during what is supposed to be a friendly match. Osvaldo Alonso and Will Johnson both received yellow cards after unnecessary challenges, as MLSsoccer.com's Matthew Doyle alluded to:
Pretty sure this is the last time Bayern will ever play an All-Star game. Cahill, Ozzie, Will Johnson = bloodbath in the midfield.— Matthew Doyle (@MLSAnalyst) August 7, 2014
Still, no matter the reason, many weren't happy with Guardiola's post-game antics. Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl and ESPN's Max Bretos gave their thoughts:
Pep Guardiola refusing to shake MLS coach Caleb Porter's hand postgame. Poor form from the Bayern coaching staff.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) August 7, 2014
The antics from the Bayern bench, pretty laughable. Can't play game with kid gloves. Maybe one bad tackle? #MLSAllStar— Max Bretos (@mbretosESPN) August 7, 2014
During the post-match press conference, Porter attempted to seek higher ground and play off the entire thing. Wahl and Philly.com's Jonathan Tannenwald provided the manager's comments:
Caleb Porter: "Pep is an idol of mine. There were a couple tackles that went wrong." Says there was no ill intent.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) August 7, 2014
Caleb Porter laughs off the postgame controversy. "Coaches get heated, and certainly you guys have seen me in games."— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) August 7, 2014
Moreover, according to U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati, the handshake eventually happened, just a little later than expected:
All good with Pep Guardiola and Caleb Porter. With them for nice handshake outside the locker room after the game. #MLSAllStar— Sunil Gulati (@sunilgulati) August 7, 2014
It's easy to see both sides of the picture. The tackles, while bad, weren't the worst you'll ever see, even in a friendly. They certainly didn't seem to be malicious. However, there was really no need for them, and Guardiola's anger was probably justified.
As Goal.com's Ives Galarcep noted, a potential injury to the ultra-important Bastian Schweinsteiger helps the case of the latter:
Kidding aside, Guardiola is clearly upset with the rough tactics of the MLS All-Stars. Understandable w/Schweinsteiger injured— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) August 7, 2014
You may think Guardiola would never answer a phone call from the MLS again, but afterward, he was essentially daring the North American league for a rematch, as Fox Sports' Kyle McCarthy noted:
Pep Guardiola said he hopes Bayern Munich will receive an invitation to play in MLS ASG next year. #MLSAllStar— Kyle McCarthy (@kylejmccarthy) August 7, 2014
On one hand, a rematch would probably generate amazing ratings, a good thing for the MLS. But on the other, it would probably get ugly, as Guardiola likely would have revenge on his mind.
Overall, this is an unfortunate incident that seems to be overshadowing what turned out to be a thrilling match.
Despite Guardiola's comments, you can probably safely assume there will be no rematch with the Bundesliga giants. Hopefully, though, this won't prevent other top clubs from around the world playing in this unique annual exhibition.