Thomas Müller. Manuel Neuer. Sadio Mané. You aren't alone if these names cause you to turn your head in recognition. Bayern Munich pulled up at Audi Field in Washington, DC, with enough star power that the throng gathered outside the stadium might have benefitted from some sunglasses.
Wednesday’s D.C. United matchup against Bayern Munich fell during two weeks of international friendlies that pitch Major League Soccer sides against the high-profile likes of Barcelona (Inter Miami and New York Red Bulls), Everton (Minnesota United), Chelsea (Charlotte FC), Arsenal (Orlando City SC), and Celta de Vigo (San Jose Earthquakes). To punctuate these games, the visiting stars have several matchups amongst themselves scheduled.
While the result tonight wasn’t a surprise to anyone, it was all good fun to see the Black-and-Red take on the reigning Bundesliga champions. (Hey, we can’t all be Minnesota United pulling 4-0 against Everton.) Bayern, one of the most popular clubs in the world, did not disappoint supporters in attendance, posting a star-studded lineup.
It was a night of firsts for both teams. Sadio Mané scored his first goal for Bayern by converting a penalty kick in the 5’ that left Jon Kempin no chance at redemption. The visitors rounded out the first half with two more goals, scored by Marcel Sabitzer in the 12’ and Serge Gnabry in the 44’.
Bayern would continue to net three more after halftime. Matthijs de Ligt also scored his debut goal for the club, finding the back of the net in the 47’. Joshua Zirkzee made a quick follow-up to de Ligt’s efforts in the 51’ to post an imposing scoreline on the board.
The Black-and-Red found their answer at the feet of Skage Simonsen. He opened the scoring for D.C. in the 54’, giving supporters something to cheer about. Ted Ku-DiPietro made it two for the home side, bolstering D.C.’s morale. The homegrown found the back of the net in the 83’.
Just to thrill fans, Bayern legend and 11-time Bundesliga champion Thomas Müller made a run in the dying moments through D.C.’s defensive half to put a final screamer away for the visitors in the 90’ + 2’.
Let’s take a moment to watch all eight of those goals again:
For many Bayern supporters and Bundesliga enthusiasts, these matches may be the only chance they have to see the club and their favorite players take the pitch in person. At open training the day before the game, Alphonso Davies told the press, “We’re excited. We’re happy to be here.” For Davies, the U.S. tour is something of a homecoming. He signed with Bayern at the age of 17, having previously played for the MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps.
Audi Football Summit - International Friendly
D.C. United: 2 Simonson 54’, Ku-DiPietro 83’
FC Bayern Munich: 6 Mané 5’ (PK), Sabitzer 12’, Gnabry 44’, de Ligt 47’, Zirkzee 51’, Müller 90’ + 2’
D.C. United (4-2-3-1): John Kempin (Dane Jacomen 72’), Andy Najar (Sofiane Djeffal 46’), Steven Birnbaum (Michael Estrada 46’), Donovan Pines (Tony Alfaro 75’), Gassasou Samake (Ted Ku-DiPietro 46’), Moses Nyeman (Sami Guediri 46’), Russell Canouse (Brendan Hines-Ike 46’), Jackson Hopkins (Christopher Durkin 46’), Kimarni Smith (Abdoul Zanne 46’), Nigel Robertha (Skage Simonsen Lehland 46’)(Drew Skundrich 75’), Miguel Berry (Chris Odoi-Atsem 46’)
FC Bayern Munich (4-4-2): Manuel Neuer (Sven Ulreich 46’), Alfonso Davies (Ryan Gravenberch 46’), Dayot Upamecano (Matthijs de Ligt 46’) (David Herold 74’), Tanguy Nianzou (Lucas Hernandez 46’), Noussair Mazraoui (Josip Stanisic 46’), Leroy Sane (Kingsley Coman 46’), Gabriel Vidovic (Joshua Kimmich 46’), Marcel Sabitzer (Benjamin Pavard 46’), Lucas Copado (Paul Wanner 46’), Sadio Mane (Joshua Zirkzee 46’), Serge Gnarby (Thomas Müller 46’)
D.C. United: Pines 38’, Durkin 55’, Djeffal 74’
FC Bayern Munich: de Ligt 71’