By Don Ruiz The News Tribune
PORTLAND — For Seattle Sounders defender DeAndre Yedlin, one of the spoils of victory on Wednesday was Julian Green’s Bayern Munich jersey.
The jersey exchange from the two young U.S. national team players followed the MLS All-Stars’ come-from-behind 2-1 win over the visiting German superclub.
“This is my boy J-Green’s jersey,” Yedlin said while wearing it in the festive MLS locker room. “We decided before the game we were going to trade. It’s all good fun. Good game. It was fun to watch. It was fun playing.”
Yedlin was one of three Sounders in coach Caleb Porter’s starting 11. Obafemi Martins was alone up top, while Clint Dempsey was part of a five-man midfield, with Yedlin at right back. All three came off at halftime, when Seattle midfielder Osvaldo Alonso subbed on. All were booed by Portland fans during the introductions, and most times they touched the ball.
Alonso also was involved in a play that seemed to change the nature of the game, making a hard tackle from behind in the 64th minute. That drew a yellow card, and the fury of Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, who had what seemed to be an angry exchange with Porter, which continued after the final whistle.
“It was the ball in front of me, I tried to anticipate, but I got late,” Alonso said. “That’s OK. Nothing happened. … It’s friendly, but we have to play hard, we have to play with intensity.”
Bayern Munich started by looking like what it is: one of the world’s great clubs.
In the eighth minute, striker Robert Lewandowski got past the MLS defense and fired a one-on-one shot that was stopped by All-Stars keeper Nick Rimando of Real Salt Lake. However, just seconds later the ball was on Lewandowski’s foot again, and this time he curled a shot over Rimando and into the net, putting Bayern ahead 1-0.
The game continued with a fast flow for the rest of the half. All three starting Sounders had their moments. Yedlin blocked a threatening shot from Xherdan Shaqiri in the 11th minute, but he also pushed forward regularly into the attacking end. In the 26th minute he made a strong run into the box before sending a sizzling ball across the goalmouth. In the 30th minute, Dempsey put the MLS’ first shot on target, but Bayern goalkeeper Tom Starke knocked it away at the near post.
Dempsey and Martins and Thierry Henry of New York had several attacking connections with flair, but nothing made it to the net.
“We tried to make them tired and pressed them, try to pass the ball among each other,” Martins said. “… It looked a little bit easier in the second half because they were tired. It’s the preseason for them.”
MLS pulled even in the 51st minute, when Bradley Wright-Phillips of New York sent a sizzler into the top corner.
London Donovan of Los Angeles provided the game-winner in the 70th minute, fighting off a defensive challenge and sending a firm shot low and in.
Donovan was voted the game’s most valuable player.
The MLS All-Stars moved to 8-3-1 in their 12 matches against international competition.
The game was played before a sellout crowd of 21,733 at Providence Park.
“Congratulations to the MLS,” Guardiola said. “I hope they invite us next year so we can try and to make the revenge. … We will be sure of what is going on, and we will prepare much better. We will do it; I hope our invitation is coming.”
The four Sounders are expected to return to Seattle on Thursday. That’s an off-day for the club, but they will gather again Friday, preparing for its match with the Houston Dynamo on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
Coach Sigi Schmid had indicated during the week that the returning All-Stars should be available for that one as long as they didn’t play much more than a half at midweek. All four played exactly 45 minutes.