Lost in Translation

MLS All-Stars 2 Bayern Munich 1

The Jekyll and Hyde dynamic of the MLS All-Star game can be tricky to define and prepare for as a result. On the one hand foot, both coaches and teams are under the presumed assumption that the game will be more entertaining than competitive. It’s a reward of sorts for both squads. Tactics will be utilized, but to a suspended degree. And on the other foot, fans want to see their money’s worth. Consequently, this requires efforts of players be exhausted that would simulate a crucial playoff match in some circumstances.

Enter Bayern Munich into Portland, Oregon.

The first team for Bayern Munich did not even begin to take shape on the pitch until very late in the game (~ the 80′). The players from Germany and the Netherland’s World Cup squads flew in special for this event yesterday afternoon. For the most part, it was Bayern’s second team battling the MLS All-Stars (underscore the word “battle”). Things got tense on the field and on the coaching sideline when the best of MLS took some hard challenges on Pep’s Boys (my nickname). It appeared to violate “a gentleman’s agreement” before the match began, particularly in the mind of Pep Guardiola. This led to a refusal of Pep to shake hands with Caleb Porter, along with a stern talking to the officials after the final whistle blew. It should be noted that it’s the middle of the season for MLS and preseason for Bayern Munich.

Who is right and who is wrong?

It depends on what the agreed upon protocol was for getting Bayern Munich to play in this game and what was said before the game began for what the overall tone of the game would be. One thing for certain is that European clubs should be fairly aware now that the MLS All-Star game is less of a celebration of the two sides and more of an opportunity for the best of MLS to showcase its talents and compete against the best clubs and players in the world. It’s a friendly only until the MLS All-Stars have a chance to score a goal or be competitive.

Regardless of whose side you are on (if you are at all), that’s a very ambiguous situation to prepare for in terms of what players you start, tactics you employ and level of intensity you ask of your players for either the full 90 minutes or just 20 minutes here and there.

In a genuine effort to play peacemaker, Jimmy’s Daily Planet has a suggestion to (at least partly) alleviate the tension that was displayed at the end of the game last night: Both coaches and players should be treated to a maple bacon doughnut from the Portland staple VooDoo Doughnut.

This perfectly delicious treat is a winner in any country.

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Posted on August 7, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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