PORTLAND, Ore. – Caleb Porter has moved on – in more ways than one.
The Portland Timbers head coach, who for three days this week served as the MLS All-Star boss and led them to a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich on Wednesday, said Friday he started thinking about the Timbers' matchup against Chivas USA on Saturday “as soon the game was done."
But, for good measure, he was asked to look back on the end of the All-Star Game when Bayern head coach and Porter idol Pep Guardiola snubbed him in the customary postgame handshake.
“Didn’t matter,” Porter said Friday. “Coaches are coaches, we’re all crazy, we lose our heads sometimes, let’s be honest. So it’s not that big a deal, really. Obviously, it would have been nice for him to shake my hand on the pitch, but in the end it didn’t matter.”
Guardiola took issue with what he felt was an unnecessarily physical approach by the All-Stars, especially with a late foul by Timbers midfielder Will Johnson that he said left German World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger with an ankle injury.
At the final whistle, Guardiola wagged his finger in Porter’s direction and, along with his staff, headed straight for the locker room. Porter, who’s no stranger to in-game disagreements with other coaches, said he’s never left a counterpart hanging.
“I’ve never not shaken a coach's hand in my career,” Porter said. “Even when I’m really mad, I don’t want to shake the guys hand, but you do it. But that’s history.”
Porter did confirm the Tweet sent out by US Soccer president Sunil Gulati later that night that said he and Guardiola did in fact meet up for a handshake. Guardiola also claimed in his postgame press conference that he didn’t see Porter on the field after the game.
“[Guardiola] was there talking to Sunil Gulati outside the press room, and I bumped into him and we shook hands,” Porter said. “So that’s what happened.”
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com.