There are few teams around the world that have had the success in recent years that Bayern Munich has seen. For the Sounders FC players who will make the trip to Portland for the MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday, it will be a chance to face off against one of the world’s best clubs that features six players from the 2014 World Cup-winning German National Team.
Seattle had five players named to the All-Star team, with DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall, Osvaldo Alonso, Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins receiving the honors. However, Marshall was scratched from the lineup due to injury. Although it is an exhibition, it is an opportunity that has the players excited.
“It’s a way for us to see how we compare with top teams in the world,” said Yedlin, who is making his second All-Star appearance. “I’ve always said that MLS is such an underrated league. We showed that against Tottenham and hopefully we can show that against Bayern too.”
Bayern has all the credentials to claim a standing as one of the world’s best teams.
After winning Germany’s Bundesliga for the second straight season this year, The Reds have 24 league titles to their credit. They also won UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2013 and were UEFA Champions League finalists two more times in the last five years.
The players cherish those opportunities to go toe-to-toe with the best.
It will be particularly exciting for Yedlin, who ranks Bayern Munich among his favorite clubs in the world.
“They’re close to the top. Barcelona is still my favorite team, but I’ve always been a big fan of Bayern, especially since [Manager Pep Guardiola] went there,” he said. “I’m excited to play.”
While there is a definite excitement level that goes with the honor of an All-Star selection, Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid warned not to read too much into results in the All-Star Game one way or another.
“It’s an All-Star Game. It’s not a game to determine whether our league is better than Bayern Munich,” Schmid said. “I think people have to be smart enough not to draw conclusions. It’s a nice event. It’s a nice event for the sponsors. Everybody gets excited. In terms of the game, hopefully it will be played like an All-Star Game and nobody gets hurt and nobody plays too many minutes."
Kickoff for Wednesday’s All-Star Game is scheduled for 6:30 pm PT on ESPN2.