In a showcase of Major League Soccer’s best players, Sounders FC’s top stars were among the most glowing.
The MLS All-Stars played to a 2-1 win over Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich Wednesday night at Providence Park. Seattle had DeAndre Yedlin, Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins in the starting lineup, while Osvaldo Alonso played the second half as the All-Stars bounced back from a first-half deficit to get a result.
It didn’t take long for the Seattle attackers to flex their muscles. Dempsey and Martins got out on the break in the third minute, with Martins charging up the middle and leading Dempsey up the right, but Dempsey was flagged offside and the attack was halted.
Robert Lewandowski scored a remarkable goal in the eighth minute, taking one touch on a pass across the top of the box and sending a cannon shot on the half-volley to beat Nick Rimando for a 1-0 Bayern lead.
As the first half wore on, the Seattle trio played a central role in nearly every threatening chance created by the MLS All-Stars.
Yedlin made a few overlapping runs to create danger up the right side, and Dempsey fielded an over-the-shoulder pass from Thierry Henry that resulted in a narrow miss on the half-volley.
At the half, the All-Stars trailed 1-0 despite the efforts of the Seattle trio. Other highlights for the All-Stars included the magnificent play of Henry and remarkable goalkeeping of Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando, who finished the half with five saves before coming off at halftime.
All-Star Head Coach Caleb Porter came with an all-new lineup on the field in the second half. The hometown manager replaced 10 players at the half, then brought Landon Donovan on for Henry 90 seconds later as the legendary striker left to a tremendous ovation.
Alonso paired with Portland Timbers nemesis Will Johnson for the final 45 minutes, and the Seattle assassin picked up a yellow card for a hard tackle in the 64th minute.
While the first half was filled with entertaining soccer, it seemed just an opening act when compared with the excitement brewing in the second half.
The All-Stars equalized in the 51st minute on a stunning strike from New York Red Bull forward and Golden Boot leader Bradley Wright-Phllips. D.C. United's Bobby Boswell lofted a ball forward to Chivas USA's Erick Torres, who headed it behind the Bayern defense as Wright-Phillips ran onto it and pelted a left-footed shot past Tom Starke for the equalizer.
Then the All-Stars took a 2-1 lead in the 70th minute when Diego Valeri found Donovan with a ball behind the defense. The LA Galaxy star fought off his defender and got a foot to it and put a shot past Manuel Neuer to add to his MLS All-Star record goal total (6).
In the final 10 minutes of the match, Pep Guardiola turned to his bench and summoned a slew of World Cup stars who helped Germany hoist the top prize in Brazil, adding to the festive atmosphere at Providence Park.
In the end, it wasn’t enough to spark a comeback for Bayern Munich, as the MLS All-Stars held on for the 2-1 victory. It marks the second win in the last three years for the All-Stars over a top-class European opponent after a 3-2 win over Chelsea in 2012.