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USA tour next summer

Bayern to contest 2014 MLS All-Star Game

German football is about to move into the 2013 winter break, but FC Bayern’s plans for the 2014 World Cup year are already taking shape. As part of the treble winners’ pre-season programme for the 2014/15 campaign, Germany’s biggest club will go on tour to the USA and feature in the traditional All-Star Game at 6.30 pm local time (3.30 am CET +1 day) on 6 August 2014 against a Major League Soccer (MLS) representative team. The game will be broadcast to more than 130 countries around the world, the MLS revealed at a press conference in Portland, Oregon on Thursday.

“We’re delighted that such a famous and successful club as FC Bayern Munich will contest the MLS All-Star Game 2014,” commented MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “There’s no better team in the world at the present time and our players are already looking forward to challenging them and testing themselves against the best team around.”

“Taking part in the MLS All-Star Game is another important step in our international strategy. We regard the USA as an important market and want to bring our brand, our team and our philosophy closer to our fans and friends and all football enthusiasts,” commented Jörg Wacker, FCB board director responsible for internationalisation and strategy.

Guardiola: An honour

The 19th All-Star Game will be played at the 22,000 capacity JELD-WEN Field stadium, home to MLS club Portland Timbers. It will be the 11th time the MLS All-Stars have faced big-name international opposition, with recent visitors including AS Roma (2013), Chelsea (2012) and Manchester United (2011, 2010). The prestigious match rounds off Bayern’s one-week summer tour of the States. Detailed information about the itinerary and further friendly matches will be announced in the next few weeks.

“Becoming the first German club to contest the MLS All-Star Game is an honour. MLS has developed very positively in recent years and we’re looking forward to taking on the league’s best players,” commented Bayern head coach Pep Guardiola.

FC Bayern have largely favoured Asia for the overseas touring component of their pre-season programme in recent years, boosting the process of internationalisation in the region and building the FC Bayern brand locally. The treble winners contested the Audi Football Summit in China in July 2012. Munich’s most recent trip to the USA was in the summer of 2004, where they prevailed 4–2 on penalties against Manchester United at Soldier Field in Chicago.