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On MLS & US Soccer

Guardiola: "US took many steps forward"

There is no shortage of interest and excitement surrounding Bayern Munich as they prepare to embark on their US summer tour. After Germany’s record champions take on Mexico’s Chivas del Guadalajara in New Jersey (July 31 at Red Bull Arena, 8:00pm EST) they travel to Portland to face the the MLS All-Stars (August 6 at Providence Park, 9:30pm EST).

On Tuesday, head coach Pep Guardiola spoke about the importance of coming to the US and the development of soccer in America. “It’s very important that we travel to the United States. We know how much the interest in the game has increased there. That’s why when we get the opportunity to travel there and play two games we proudly take it.”

That interest in the game was very apparent at the World Cup where the US national team had an impressive campaign and fans in America set viewership records throughout the tournament. “ The US took many steps forward. They played very aggressive and intense. I was really impressed with the backline and their movement. The United States is a reality in the soccer world,“ commented Guardiola.

'MLS is better than before'

The progress also extends to the US’s domestic league as Major League Soccer has taken big strides forward over the years, and the Bayern coach very much agrees. “The league is better than before. That is a fact,” Guardiola said on Tuesday. Indeed, many of the players that will feature in the All-Star game took part in the World Cup in Brazil this summer, and the league has attracted several high-profile players over the years.

Although the Bayern coach said that the MLS still has a ways to go to match Europe’s leagues in terms of tradition he was optimistic about its development, “In the United States when they focus on basketball they are the best, when they focus on tennis they are the best, and so on. When this happens and they focus on soccer and working with the best coaches, developing young talent and academies and being patient they will only get stronger and stronger in the next few years.”

Find more information on Bayern's US Tour here.