Bayern Munich’s preparations for the defense of their Bundesliga title will see them take on Mexican giants Chivas Guadalajara at New Jersey’s Red Bull Arena on July 31. For Germany’s most successful club, the match will be the start of a two-match tour of the United States on which they will also provide the opposition for the MLS All-Stars.
Pep Guardiola is getting set for his second season with Bayern and will be targeting the one trophy to have gotten away first time around. While Bayern retained both the Bundesliga and German Cup, they were humbled in the semifinals of the Champions League by eventual winners Real Madrid. They have already suffered another loss to the Spanish giants, however, with Madrid signing Bayern’s German World-Cup-winning midfielder Toni Kroos.
On the arrivals front, Bayern have been fairly quiet this summer. Spain Under-21 international Juan Bernat has joined from Valencia, while Germany Under-21 midfielder Sebastian Rode was snapped up from Eintracht Frankfurt. The big signing, though, was confirmed months ago and realistically tied up months before that with Robert Lewandowski being prized away from rivals Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer.
Lewandowski has already given indication that he is raring to go for the start of the new season and could be a man to watch at Red Bull Arena. On Monday the Poland international scored in his first appearance in a Bayern Munich start in a friendly with third division side MSV Duisburg.
He will be joined in the squad to take on Chivas by young U.S. international Julian Green. The 19-year-old German-American, who made just one appearance for the first team last season, was thrust into Jurgen Klinsmann’s World Cup squad and left his mark by scoring just seconds after coming off the bench in the Round of 16 defeat to Belgium. Guardiola confirmed that Green will now join up with the Bayern first team for preseason and that he has no current plans to loan him out for the coming campaign.
"Now he stays with us,” the Spaniard said in a conference call on Tuesday," according to MLSSoccer.com.
“He’s going to stay with us and make preseason," Guardiola confirmed during a media teleconference call on Tuesday.
"I think he’s going to stay [for the season], but we have to see how is the market, if one player is back or what players come in.
“Today I think he’s going to stay, but I think we’ll see the preseason. We have time. I know him and I know he trains well and he’s a good guy and my first idea is that he’s going to stay for the rest of the season.”
Guardiola will be in familiar surroundings when he comes to the New York area, having spent a year-long sabbatical in the city between leaving Barcelona and joining Bayern. And he is keen to get back to the U.S. and capitalize on the growing soccer culture furthered by this summer’s World Cup.
“It’s very important that we travel to the United States,” he said, reports Bayern Munich’s official website. “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.”
While Bayern will be preparing for the Bundesliga season, which starts on August 22, and the German Supercup against Dortmund nine days earlier, Chivas’ season is already underway. After finishing a disappointing 15th in last season’s Clausura, the club began this campaign’s Apertura with a 1-1 draw at home to Chiapas. Managed by Carlos Bustos, Chivas also drew 1-1 with English Premier League club Swansea City in a friendly in Milwaukee last week.
Match Info: The friendly between Bayern Munich and Chivas Guadalajara will kick off at 8 p.m. ET on July 31. Tickets can be purchased via the New York Red Bulls here.