The MLS All-Stars defeated Bayern Munich 2-1 on Wednesday night in Portland. Bradley Wright-Phillips and 14-time all-star Landon Donovan struck for the hosts, Robert Lewandowski registering a goal for Bayern.
It's the second win for the All-Stars in the last three meetings against an international club team, per the official website. Two years ago, the All-Stars beat Chelsea, who were the holders of the 2011-12 Champions League title at that time.
There were claims that the win was a significant one for MLS, but it wasn't. Half of the Chelsea starting X1 weren't regulars. The likes of Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, etc. took part, but they were also in preseason condition.
The same situation occurred with Bayern Munich. It is a great result to defeat one of the top clubs in the world, but it will be forgotten about very quickly, just like the Chelsea match.
Bayern started backup goalkeeper Tom Starke, with a back three of Javi Martinez, David Alaba and Rafinha. The latter two were regular starters in the 2013-14 season for Bayern, while Martinez was rotated.
However, manager Pep Guardiola hasn't used the three-man defense until recently. Youngsters such as Pierre Hojbjerg, Sebastian Rode and Gianluca Gaudino were also on the pitch. The German World Cup stars such as Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller didn't come on until the second half.
Fitness, tactics and assessing personnel are the three major components of preseason. The All-Stars were the fitter side, which is a big advantage. Tactically and personnel wise, most of the squad doesn't play with the same team, so it's difficult to get the chemistry, although the same can be said for Bayern.
Keep in mind many of the Bayern starters don't get regular minutes in competitive matches, and it takes a few games for players to get "in sync" with each other. Therefore, both sides were equal on a preseason basis.
Once the full-time whistle blew, Bayern players such as Muller and Neuer walked around the pitch smiling and applauding the supporters. They enjoyed the event itself and losing the game in no way dampened their enthusiasm for the match. For the Germans, it was a night of celebration.
The 2-1 win for MLS is a nice confidence booster, and there are some very talented players in the league. However, defeating 11 players mainly composed of reserves doesn't mean that the New York Red Bulls or Los Angeles Galaxy can compete in the Bundesliga.
It shows that the league is improving, but no one can get carried away with a friendly result. When the Galaxy were crushed 7-0 by Manchester United on July 24, it was an embarrassment.
The MLS All-Stars narrowly beating an elite European club's second-string side in a friendly isn't going to improve the level of league performance. It will, however, help to introduce the league to a wider audience.
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