Hollywood could not have written the script any better. In his last MLS All-Star match, the best American born soccer player to have ever have played in MLS, scored the winner as the MLS recorded a statement 2-1 win in over Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
And what a goal it was. Donovan got behind the Bayern defense on a long ball from Portland‘s Diego Valeri, where he beat Bayern defender Rafinha before slotting the ball past Manuel Neuer. Donovan was subbed off a minute later to a resounding ovation.
Donovan’s goal was not the only highlight in a match that was a lot more competitive, nee physical, than Bayern boss Pep Guardiola wanted or expected.
Bayermn had went into half-time one up courtesy of a terrific goal from summer signing Robert Lewandowski. Lewandowski showed to his strength to hold off Aurelien Collin before blasting the ball past Nick Rimando in the MLS goal.
But right after half-time, MLS got back on level terms the Red Bulls Bradley Wright-Phillips took a long ball from Bobby Boswell, superbly flicked on by Erick “Cubo” Torres, in perfect stride and struck a left-footed blast to the far top corner, a shot that gave a sprawling Tom Starke, Bayern’s starter in goal, no chance.
The talking point afterwards was the non-handshake between Guardiola and MLS coach Caleb Porter, as Guardilla was upset after a couple of hard tackles late in the game. But focusing on that is a disservice to the MLS side who beat one of the best clubs in the world. As Landon Donovan said afterwards:
“Any time you can beat Bayern Munich, that’s a good beat. We came out and played them hard and that was an entertaining game for sure.”