Valeri, Rimando shine before chippy finish
Landon Donovan was named MVP after his 70th-minute goal gave the MLS All-Stars a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich Wednesday night at Providence Park.
Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri, who delivered the assist to Donovan, left the field as the peoples champ, though.
We knew that they would give space because they play with three in the back, Valeri said of the decisive play. I tried to (send in a pass) before, but I couldnt. (On the goal) I saw Landon run in behind, and he finished it like a big player.
"For me, it was special. I didnt expect that before the game. It was really amazing. I dont have words to explain it. I was really grateful.
The match included some fire in the final minutes as Bayern Munich tried to find the equalizer and the All-Stars played more physical to prevent the ball from going in the back of the net.
Timbers midfielder Will Johnson drew a yellow card in the 89th minute for a hard foul.
When they got down a goal, they got a little pissed off, Johnson said. They tried to get back into it, and it got a little chippy. Thats the way things go sometimes.
All-Star midfielder Michael Bradley said the fouls at the end of the match are simply part of the game.
Its still soccer, Bradley said. There are still plays where two guys are going for the ball and at times somebody ends up on the ground. A guy gets a piece of another guy.
"Even in a friendly, when you have two teams who are trying to avoid that as much as possible, theres still going to be plays like that throughout the game.
Bayern Munich coach Josep Guardiola apparently was unimpressed by the way the MLS players conducted themselves. At the end of the match, Guardiola refused to shake hands with All- Star coach Caleb Porter.
Guardiola giving Porter the cold shoulder is even more notable because the Timbers coach has a history of not playing nice with opposing coaches. During MLS play, Porter has gotten into verbal confrontations with Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arenas and Vancouver Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson.
Neither Porter nor Guardiola addressed the handshake refusal during their post-match press conference.
Bradley praised Porter for his handling of the squad this week.
It was enjoyable, Bradley said. Guys come in across the league from all different situations and you have a training or two to kind of get everybody going.
"The real way you can tell everything is when you see guys step on the field and enjoy themselves and still play in the right way.
The feud between Portland and Seattle did not take a break Wednesday night. All but three MLS players received cheers when they were introduced. The three players who did not were all Seattle Sounders: striker Abafemi Martins, midfielder Clint Dempsey and defender DeAndre Yedlin.
Dempsey took it all with a smile.
Its what it is, Dempsey said. It just shows the passion that the fans have. Its good for the game. Portland and Seattle are two great markets. When you go and watch games at their respective stadiums its a great atmosphere, you can feel the energy. It shows the game is growing here in the states.
Another player who easily could have won the MVP honor was goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who kept the All-Stars in the match with five first-half saves, several of them spectacular.
Rimando laughed asked if he was happy that Bayern Munich put so many tough shots on frame, allowing him to make crowd-pleasing saves.
For me, my best game is not getting any shots, where were organized and the guys in front of me are doing their job, Rimando said. But in a game like this, against a quality side, youre going to get shots. Its about being prepared and focused and not taking the play off.