Donovan gives MLS All-Stars win over Bayern Munich

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Donovan gives MLS All-Stars win over Bayern Munich

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Landon Donovan scored the go-ahead goal in a 2-1 victory over German power Bayern Munich on Wednesday night in the Major League Soccer All-Star game.

Making his record 14th All-Star appearance, Donovan dribbled the ball to the top of the box before blasting it past German World Cup goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in the 70th minute.

The Bundesliga champions had seven members of the World Cup-winning German national team, but most of them remained on the bench until about the final 10 minutes.

The MLS team included several players from the U.S. World Cup squad that advanced out of the group stage in Brazil, including Seattle's Clint Dempsey and Toronto's Michael Bradley.

Donovan, the L.A. Galaxy striker who was left off the U.S. World Cup team, got a standing ovation from the crowd when he was subbed out following his goal.

Bradley Wright-Philips of the New York Red Bulls tied it for the All-Stars early in the second half. Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring for Bayern early in the first half.

The event caps a preseason tour for Bayern Munich, which hadn't visited the United States in a decade. The team beat Chivas Guadalajara 1-0 last Thursday night at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.

The group of Bayern players from Germany's World Cup-winning team flew into Portland on Wednesday morning, and whisked to a meet-and-greet at adidas' North American headquarters.

Mario Goetze, who scored the extra-time winner in the final match against Argentina in Brazil, was among the national team players making the overnight stop in Portland.

"It feels like we're only going to be here for 12 hours so we're kind of in and out, but it's exciting," Goetze said.

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said he was only playing his World Cup players for some 15 minutes apiece and he was true to his word. None of them started on Wednesday night.

Bayern midfielder Julian Green, who played for the United States in the World Cup, was also listed as a reserve but he was the first Bayern sub to enter the game in the 36th minute. Fans at Providence Park chanted "USA! USA!"

Green was born in Florida but grew up in Germany and has dual citizenship. Just 19, he scored against Belgium in the World Cup, becoming the youngest American with a goal in soccer's premier event.

Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando, who was also on the U.S. World Cup roster, started in goal for the All-Stars, four days after he had his 112th shutout in a victory over Colorado to match the MLS record set by Kevin Hartman.

Rimando leaped with his arms outstretched but couldn't stop Lewandowski's goal for Bayern in the opening minutes. Lewandowski joined Bayern on a free transfer from league rival Borussia Dortmund last month.

New York's Thierry Henry had a good chance for the All-Stars in the 41st minute, but his long shot sailed just over the crossbar before getting caught in the net.

Wright-Phillips, the league's top scorer with 18 goals this season for the Red Bulls, skipped across the turf after his goal against goalkeeper Tom Starke in the 51st minute.

Following Wright-Phillips' goal, Bayern sent in Neuer to finish out the match.

The MLS is 8-3-1 against international opponents since the league adopted the current All-Star game format, with losses coming to English Premier League club Manchester United and AS Roma. Everton won on penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie in 2009.

Roma, led by longtime star Francesco Totti, beat the MLS All-Stars 3-1 in the All-Star game last year in Kansas City. The Galaxy's Gonzalez scored the only goal for the MLS side in second-half stoppage time.

Union's Alejandro Bedoya called up to U.S. national team for key World Cup qualifiers

Union's Alejandro Bedoya called up to U.S. national team for key World Cup qualifiers

Throughout their seven-year history, the Union have had very few active players called up for U.S. national team duty.

That’s about to change now that Alejandro Bedoya is on the team.

On Sunday, it was announced that Bedoya — Philly’s marquee summer acquisition — is one of 26 players selected for important World Cup qualifiers vs. St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago.

The U.S. travels first to face St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sept. 2 (3:30 p.m., beIN SPORT) and will close out Group C action against Trinidad & Tobago on Sept. 6 (8 p.m., FS1).

That means Bedoya — who’s started the last four games for the Union, helping the club to a 3-1 mark in that stretch — will miss Philly’s road game vs. the Chicago Fire on Saturday (8:30 p.m., TCN). 

All-star goalkeeper Andre Blake also won’t be available for that contest, traveling with Jamaica for their World Cup qualifiers.

That will leave the Union, who are also managing injuries to midfielders Maurice Edu, Brian Carroll and Ilsinho, a little bit thin as they look to extend their winning streak to three games this weekend. 

But Bedoya’s inclusion on the USMNT roster is something the Union expected. The midfielder has been one of head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s steadiest players over the past couple of years, as a starter in the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Copa America Centenario. 

He’s already made 53 appearances with the U.S. national team and figures to make his first as a member of the Union on Friday.

If he does, he’ll be the second active Union player ever to play for the USMNT, following a Maurice Edu appearance in April 2014 in the buildup to the World Cup (he was later cut from the preliminary roster, along with Landon Donovan, before the U.S. left for Brazil). Prior to Edu’s appearance, the closest a Union player had come to earning a USMNT cap was when Jack McInerney was selected to the 2013 Gold Cup squad but didn't play in any games.

Super sub Roland Alberg putting on potent show for Union

Super sub Roland Alberg putting on potent show for Union

CHESTER, Pa. -- Roland Alberg has been a terror for opposing teams. 

The latest attack from the Dutch bomber happened Saturday, while the Union were gridlocked in a scoreless draw with Sporting Kansas City. Alberg entered the match in the 65th minute and ended it in the 67th, when he launched a volley that beat goalkeeper Alec Kann. 

“I have to be patient, but when I come on the field, I have to do my thing,” Alberg said. “It’s a great team performance. We did a great job, got three points and we are happy with it.”

He added an assist for the 2-0 win (see game story)

“He’s a wonderful player,” said Union left back Fabinho, who assisted on Alberg's goal. “He came on and changed the game. I saw him and I know what he likes. I give the ball to him and he scores. He has nine goals. It’s nice for him. I hope he scores more.” 

That type of impact hasn’t been irregular for Alberg. With nine goals on the season in just 925 minutes played, the 26-year-old leads MLS in goals-per-90 minutes with 0.88. Only New York City FC’s Frank Lampard is close with .85.

“He’s far and away the leader in our league,” said Union manager Jim Curtin, who originally cited Alberg’s goals-per-90 stat. “He has a special quality.”

Yet, despite that “special quality,” Alberg remains a super sub, buried behind Tranquillo Barnetta at the center attacking midfield spot. He has two goals in his last four games — all coming off the bench.

“I have to show it every training, and then it’s the coach’s decision,” he said. “If [Curtin] uses me as a sub, I’ll do 100 percent my best. And if it’s as a starter, it’s the same thing for me. Of course every player wants to play as a starter, and me too. But it’s a long season. Playoffs, they are coming. So I’m patient.”

Alberg’s potency isn’t lost on Curtin, even if the manager doesn’t switch his winning formula. Though Alberg is pushing for a starting spot, the Union might just be more dangerous with him off the bench.

“He’s a starter on most MLS teams,” Curtin said. “It’s just a matter of having depth at that spot. He’s a very valuable player to our team and shows we have a deep squad. I can’t say enough about how well he’s played in any role. As a starter for us, he’s won us a bunch of games, and his role off the bench, he’s won us some games now, too.”

Roland Alberg's goal, assist propel Union past Sporting Kansas City, 2-0

Roland Alberg's goal, assist propel Union past Sporting Kansas City, 2-0

BOX SCORE

CHESTER, Pa. -- Roland Alberg entered the game at the perfect time.

With his club holding the man advantage as a result of Jimmy Medranda’s second yellow card in the 57th minute, Union manager Jim Curtin tapped Alberg off the bench to replace Fabian Herbers in the 65th minute. 

Two minutes later, the Union took the lead. From the left side, Fabinho found Alberg at the top of the box, where he teed off a shot at that ripped past Alec Kann to open scoring in the eventual 2-0 Union win over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday at Talen Energy Stadium.

It was Alberg’s ninth goal of the season.

The Union now have wins in back-to-back games for the first time since March, pushing their record to 11-9-7 and temporarily jumping them over the New York Red Bulls for third in the Eastern Conference. SKC falls to 11-12-5.

Facing Sporting Kansas City at Talen Energy Stadium for the first time since the 2015 U.S. Open Cup title game, the Union, who lost that game in penalty kicks, wanted to dictate tempo. However, the club was unable to break down SKC’s stout midfield until the red cards started flying.

Already down a man, things began to unravel for SKC in the 87th minute, when Roger Espinoza was shown a straight red for tossing what appeared like an inadvertent elbow to the midsection of Alberg. 

In stoppage time, up two men, the Union put the exclamation point on the win. Alberg found Tranquillo Barnetta in an open pocket of the SKC defense, and with space, the Swiss veteran placed his shot to the right and in, sealing the 2-0 win.