Coach and players from Bayern Munich and the MLS All-Stars met the media for about 90 minutes this afternoon. Clint Dempsey was among the MLS delegation.
I'll be back with more direct quotes later, but here are a few quick highlights:
Dempsey indicated the Tottenham friendly might have slowed the Sounders momentum. That said, he sees this MLS All-Star friendly somewhat differently, and he's looking forward to it.
While Dempsey said he's looking forward to playing a world power like Bayern Munich, he also put in a pitch for MLS returning to an East-vs.-West forward as a way of honoring more of the league's players.
"During the season, the Tottenham friendly with the club team, I would have rathered kept going and build off the momentum of the game against Portland," Dempsey said. "It stopped things for us a little bit. I do enjoy being called into a game like this, an All-Star game, to be able to play with players like Henry. But at the same time, I think it would be cool to go back to the old system – East vs. West – because I think you could reward more players, reward more coaches, for doing a great job. But at the same time, it’s still exciting to play against a team like Bayern. It would be nice if we had more time with Caleb in terms of tactics and how to better prepare ourselves so that we could play even better than what we’ll play. But at the same time we’ll still put in a good performance. We’ll have fun and I look forward to the challenge."Portland/MLS coach Caleb Porter said he is aware of the need to return fresh players back to their clubs, so he plans to go basically with first- and second-half units.
Porter also said the first thing he noticed about Sounder/All-Star and former Akron star DeAndre Yedlin is his world-class speed.
The state of U.S. soccer is always a big topic in these kinds of events, and it was again today. Seattle and host-city Portland got lots of praise as showing the way.
Dempsey said he wants to say with the U.S. National Team, especially through Copa America 2016; but he added that's also up to Jurgen Klinsmann's plans for him going forward.
Henry may have had the quote of the conference. Asked his advice to fellow players about playing Bayern Munich, he said: "Drink a lot of water, we're going to run a lot."
If anyone topped that, it was Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola who said he is reluctant to play his World Cup guys much or at all, but that the USA's Julian Green will play "for the fans, for the girls." He gave Green, sitting right beside him, and little tap as he said it.
Green stressed that he wants to play for Bayern Munich and bot being sent out on loan.
Here are some of those promised direct quotes:
On continuing with the national team: That’s a good question. I don’t know. I’d like to continue playing for the U.S. team. But that depends on me performing and getting called in. For me, I would like to definitely push for playing in Copa America, it’s a tournament I’ve always valued and wanted to participate in and never got the opportunity to. So if I got the opportunity to play in Copa America, that would be awesome. But like I said, it’s not my decision whether I get called in or not. I have to be performing, Jurgen has to decide whether I’m still part of his plans or not, and take it from there.
PORTEROn Yedlin: The first thing I saw in DeAndre is his pace. He’s an elite, world-class athlete. He’s extremely quick and has the ability from that position to get forward in the attack, which in the modern game is something you look for in that position. So that was what first caught my attention, first playing as a winger.