USMNT Star Chris Richards: From Alabama to Bayern Munich

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With the likes of Christian Pulisic, Zack Steffen, and Josh Sargent amongst the many American talents looking to make a splash in the Premier League this season, it’s time to have a look at the future USMNT internationals who are plying their trade on the continent.

There’s not only the multitude of American youngsters at all levels of football in Germany but there are also future USMNT stars plying their trade across the vast European football landscape in the 2021/22 season. 

EARLY LIFE

Chris Richards was born in Birmingham, Alabama on May 28, 2000. His father was semi-pro basketball player Ken Richards. He began pursuing global football at quite the young age, playing indoor soccer at daycare at the local gym at just 3 years old.

A talented athlete, he pursued both basketball and soccer throughout his school years. He ultimately decided on soccer partially due to the fact he hadn’t yet reached the towering 6’2” that he stands at now.

After being rejected by FC Dallas, he moved to Texans SC where his commanding center-back performances caught the eye of several colleges, as the Texans went on to win a national championship. His performances that season earned him a full athletic scholarship at UNC.

Richards never attended the University of North Carolina however, as just weeks later, FC Dallas decided to give him another trial. 

PROFESSIONAL CAREER

He took this opportunity with both hands and on April 12, 2018, he signed a homegrown contract with FC Dallas.

He would never appear for FC Dallas though after he caught the eye of German giants Bayern Munich, as part of a youthful FC Dallas side on a ten-day trial at the club, part of a groundbreaking agreement between the two sides.

After joining Munich on loan initially, he would make a permanent move during the same transfer window that saw Canadian superstar Alphonse Davies sign for the club from the Vancouver Whitecaps. 

He spent a year with the U-19s, followed by a season with the Bayern Munich II side in the third tier of German football. His hard work paid off. He made his debut for the giants of German soccer in June of 2020, during a 3-1 victory over Freiburg.

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The milestones came thick and fast that calendar year as in the space of just four months he made his first start in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League.

He would go on loan to Hoffenheim the second half of that season making eleven appearances- furthering his development in the top tier of German soccer. He returned to Hoffenheim on deadline day – this time his loan stay would last the full season.

USMNT STORY SO FAR

Chris Richards had a successful USMNT youth career, appearing at the 2018 CONCACAF U-20 Tournament and making 5 appearances at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, starting all but one match. One of those starts was the stunning 3-2 victory over red hot favorites France.

He made his full USMNT debut in November of 2020 against Panama. He has gone on to earn three caps for the senior national side.

A physically imposing defensive monster, Chris Richards has all the tools at his disposal to be a mainstay for both the national side and in the top tier of European football for many years to come.

USMNT Golden Generation Profile Series

Christian Pulisic      Gio Reyna      Sergino Dest    Weston McKennie    Zack Steffen    Tyler Adams

USMNT Stars in the Making Series

Yunus Musah   Reggie Cannon   Mark McKenzie   Brendon Aaronson   Chris Richards  Tim Weah

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