Guardiola snubs MLS coach as Bayern clash ends in acrimony
German side's efforts to charm America suffer a setback with bad-tempered clash
Pep Guardiola was left fuming after Bayern Munich's efforts to charm America went awry as the German champions lost a bad-tempered game against an MLS All-Star team in Portland.
The Spanish coach, incensed by some of the MLS side's tackles, refused to shake the hand of his opposite number, Caleb Porter, and confronted referee Jai Marufo at the final whistle. Afterwards he appeared to take issue with the Americans' approach and warned that if there was a next time his side would come prepared.
"We tried to respect the rules of the game," said Guardiola. "We tried to play, and we were not prepared for the situation. I expect MLS to invite us back for revenge, and we will prepare much better."
Guardiola gave Porter "a one-fingered wave-off" after the game, says the Daily Telegraph, while US website Soccer by Ives described his finger wagging as an "insulting gesture", although it claims that the two managers did later shake hands.
And while Guardiola was "visibly peeved" by some of the tackling, his attitude did not impress some MLS fans. Readers of SBI accused him of lacking class and said Bayern would not be welcomed back to America.
"Despite Guardiola's comments, you can probably safely assume there will be no rematch with the Bundesliga giants," says Bleacher Report. It notes that the "unfortunate" ending, which came after a particularly tough challenge on Bastian Schweinsteiger, overshadowed a "thrilling" game in which Robert Lewandowski's opening goal was cancelled out by strikes from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Landon Donovan.
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
It was a sour note on which to end Bayern's North American tour. Most of Europe's elite teams, Arsenal, Liverpool, Man United and Real Madrid among them, have visited the US this summer hoping to capitalise on football's sudden popularity in the wake of a World Cup that caught the imagination of the American sports fan. Most have succeeded, but Bayern may not be so fortunate.
The usually suave Guardiola, who spent a year living in New York after leaving Barcelona, appears on paper to be the ideal ambassador for the sport in the US, but he may have blotted his copybook on this occasion.
Bayern Munich is in the USA mainly to expand its brand, Pep Guardiola & his staff probably just did the opposite.
— Howie Magner (@howiemag) August 7, 2014
Pep did nothing to help the Bayern Munich brand in the states tnite #MLSAllStar
— CJ (@DrJ_EFC_FAN) August 7, 2014