Bayern boss not happy at MLS all-star game, avoids post-match handshake
Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 08:45 am
PORTLAND, Ore. - Pep Guardiola showed more than a few moods during his stop in Portland.
The charismatic Bayern Munich manager was funny, playful and thoughtful. But Guardiola's mood darkened considerably during Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the MLS all-stars.
Second-half challenges by Seattle's Osvaldo Alonso and Canadian international Will Johnson of the Portland Timbers led to yellow cards and Bayern players writhing on the artificial turf at Providence Park.
Alonso was cautioned in the 64th minute for felling Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri. Johnson hobbled Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 89th minute, leaving the German World Cup star with what Bayern later called a bruised ankle.
Alonso and Johnson are both ball-winning midfielders who make their living getting their nose dirty on the soccer field, so were essentially doing their job — albeit with more enthusiasm than Bayern would normally encounter in what was for them a pre-season game.
Guardiola glared at the all-stars bench and looked daggers at coach Caleb Porter, who raised his arms as if to say "What did I do?" After the game, the Bayern boss studiously avoided Porter as the all-stars coach tried to chase him down on the field to shake hands.
It added somewhat of a sour ending to what had been a model all-star week.
Red Bulls star forward Thierry Henry, who played for Guardiola at Barcelona, did track him down. The two chatted, with Henry seemingly doing most of the talking.
Guardiola paid tribute to Henry in the post-game news conference, saying it was an honour to manage him.
As for the bad blood and yellow cards, the Spaniard looked to take the high road.
"I'm not talking about that," Guardiola said of the cautions, although he did say the club was "a little bit upset" at Schweinsteiger getting hurt. "So it's not my job. The job was (that of) another person. I don't know if he did it but it's not my job."
"Coaches get heated," said Porter, downplaying the Bayern boss's apparent displeasure.
Guardiola did offer congratulations to the MLS all-stars and to Portland for hosting the event. And he said the U.S. trip was "good," although his praise was somewhat underwhelming, making it sound like it was more of a chore than something for his scrapbook.
The all-stars were called for eight fouls to five for Bayern, which had Jerome Boateng cautioned for dissent in stoppage time.
Johnson was unrepentant after the match.
"Obviously when they go down a goal, I think they got a little pissed off and they tried to get back into it and it got a little bit chippy," he said. "That's the way games go sometimes."
Osvaldo said his piece via Twitter.
"Happy with the win tonight against a great team. I'll always play to win, that's my mentality, I hate (to) lose and I play for my family," said the Cuban.
Eight of Bayern's World Cup stars arrived on the eve of the game after their post-tournament vacation, making a 12-hour journey to the West Coast essentially to satisfy sponsors and Major League Soccer. Seven came on in the second half, with six, including Schweinsteiger, arriving in the 80th minute or later.
Bayern now heads home for a team presentation Saturday.
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