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Archive feature, part 1

Bayern in the USA: The pioneering years

FC Bayern are set to ‘Go West’ on 30 July for a nine-day tour of the USA. Pep Guardiola and his team will be based in New York and then Portland/Oregon, as the Bavarians continue a long transatlantic tradition that has seen the Reds play from the East Coast to California and the Great Lakes to Florida. In our three-part archive feature, recalls the club’s previous trips to the USA over the last 54 years.

Part 1: New York, California, the Great Lakes

1960: Bavarian league hopefuls on US TV

Bayern’s first transatlantic adventure came when professional football in the USA was still in its infancy. Back in May 1960, American entrepreneur William D. Cox founded the International Soccer League (ISL), a summer tournament that ran annually until 1965 and featured many well-known teams from around the world. The line-up for the first edition included the reigning champions from England (Burnley) and Northern Ireland (Glenavon), Scottish league runners-up Kilmarnock and outgoing French champions OGC Nice. And FC Bayern.

The men from Munich were selected to represent Germany and duly flew to New York. In those pre-Bundesliga days, FCB coach Adolf Patek’s team competed in the highest Bavarian league and included stars of the time such as Arpad Fazekas and Ludwig Landerer. The tournament featured two groups of six teams with the group winners contesting the final. The Bavarians had the honour of contesting the inaugural ILS match on 25 May at Manhattan Polo Grounds, where a crowd numbering just over 10,000 saw eventual finalists Kilmarnock prevail 3–1.

Bayern also fell to Burnley by a 3–0 scoreline on 28 May and to a US select team playing as the New York Americans on 10 June; the score at Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City was 2–1. However, FCB had defeated Glenavon 3-0 on 2 June, while the 2–2 draw with Nice on 6 June was broadcast live on national TV. The Reds finished second from bottom of their group, but at the time the experience was a far more important factor.

1966: Cup winners on tour

The next tour took place six years later in June 1966 and involved a great deal more travel, from California via the Great Lakes, a brief detour to Canada and finally on to New York. The team left Munich on 6 June, just two days after triumphing in the DFB Cup final. The first game of the tour was scheduled four days later at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, where a 12,000 crowd saw a 2-2 draw with freshly-crowned Scottish champions Celtic.

Legendary coach Tschick Cajkovski’s team, spearheaded by Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Müller and Sepp Maier despite the impending World Cup in England just a few weeks later, gave an extremely good account of themselves in the rest of the densely-packed touring schedule:

10 June: 3-3 v Orange County (in Los Angeles)
15 June: 3-0 v Atlas Guadalajara (in Los Angeles)
17 June: 0-3 v Tottenham Hotspur (in Detroit)
19 June: 1-1 v Tottenham Hotspur (in Chicago)
22 June: 9-0 v Milwaukee Amateur Select XI (in Milwaukee)
26 June: 11-2 v St. Louis White Star (in St. Louis)
29 June: 2-2 v AC Turin (in Toronto)
30 June: 3-3 v AC Turin (in New York)

1979: Dropping in on the 'Kaiser'

Bayern’s USA trip in July 1979 was dominated by a reunion with Franz Beckenbauer. The Kaiser had joined New York Cosmos two years earlier, and his former team came to visit on 4 July. Despite the Independence Day celebrations an excellent crowd of 42,366 watched the meeting between Munich and the reigning NASL champions at Giants Stadium. Dieter Hoeneß and Wolfgang Kraus scored the goals in a 2–0 victory for the Europeans and their stars Paul Breitner and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Check back on Saturday 26 July for part 2 of our USA tour chronicle.