Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards believes his Bundesliga success alongside Tyler Adams and Alphonso Davies may pave the way for more MLS talent to make the jump to Europe
The USA youth international joined Bayern after a short try in May 2018 after spending time in the FC Dallas youth system Richards went on to make 30 appearances for the Bavarian club’s second team in Germany’s third tier last season, while also making an unexpected Bundesliga debut against Freiburg in June
Richards was also regularly named to the bench for Bayern’s UEFA Champions League success, but given the fierce competition for places in the 2019/20 treble winners, he was widely expected to leave the club on loan to win the first team experience
Instead, Richards has stayed at the Allianz Arena to fight for his place, already making two Bundesliga appearances this season – the first a 17-minute cameo at the end of Bayern’s 8-0 win on Schalke and the second starting right-back in a 4-3 win over Hertha Berlin with Richards even helping a goal from Robert Lewandowski
Keys – 62
Successful passes – 43
Successful completion – 90%
Chances Created – 3
Assists – 1
Aerial duels won – 1
Clearances – 1
« It was not an easy game for him You can be very happy with your debut in the starting XI It can continue like this »
Richards joins Adams (RB Leipzig), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund) and his Bayern teammate Davies as North American youngsters to excel in Europe after spending time at MLS clubs in youth level or beyond
Speaking exclusively to WFi, Richards believes he and his counterparts are paving the way for future MLS products to continue on the path
« I think we guys are having a big effect on the potential of the academy students taking that leap in Europe [from MLS], » he said.
« I think they see it is very possible for us [Americans and Canadians] to do this and we have Americans at so many clubs across Europe that I think wherever they decide to go, they’ll be close enough to have an American there to comfort or mentor them «
Richards also believes the biggest clubs investing in MLS players will act as a domino effect, with even more talent pumped out as more investment comes in.
He added: « I think it might help MLS improve as well, because they are making income from these youngsters and then bigger clubs start to look at the US as a big pool of talent. In my case, FC Dallas got compensation for me
« So I think there is a great possibility that one day in the future MLS will become a very big respected league with the money they get from young academy students making the jump. «
Richards’ decision is the result of a partnership between FC Dallas and Bayern Munich and although no player has yet moved in the opposite direction, we have already seen the mutual benefits that this type of arrangement may have with FC Cincinnati recently acquired Croatian striker Franko Kovačević on loan from partner club Hoffenheim
Six goals & an assist in 11 appearances for Hoffenheim II in 4th place in Germany & 5 caps at different youth levels for 🇭🇷 # FCCincy has only scored 8 goals in 17 games this season, they can’t be worse than it can only improve them
But, more importantly for American football, Richards believes there is still a talent pool within FC Dallas’ system that Bayern can tap into. Right now, local talents Bryan Reynolds and Tanner Tessmann are enjoying long MLS minutes, while Paxton Pomykal is currently considered one of North America’s brightest midfield talents.
Richards urges more young players to leave Texas for Bavaria and step out of their comfort zone
« There are a lot of young children in the FC Dallas academy who, when exposed to this environment, will no doubt grow into amazing players. It’s just a matter of getting them out of their zone. comfort and not to be afraid to do it «
Of the lessons learned during his days in Dallas, he added: « In Dallas, I learned to be a young professional
« It was my first experience with a professional club and all the kids in the academy had a pro mindset as they grew up seeing kids from the U-17 and U-19 academy teams signing professional chords So it definitely taught me this professional mindset «
Along with the aforementioned names, we’ve also seen Christian Pulisic’s rise to the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund, while 17-year-old right-back Joe Scally is set to join NYCFC’s Borussia Monchengladbach in January.
So why Germany? What is it about their model that is so appealing to young Americans?
Richards says the Bundesliga’s style of play is, to some extent, similar to what he and his compatriots are used to at home, combining elite physics with top-notch ball quality
« I think the Bundesliga has become a good landing point for us Americans because it’s a certain type of style of play that is somewhat common to our system at home, » he explains.
« Lots of running but also good quality on the ball and a very strong physical league in which we Americans can really do well »
Richards is currently sidelined with a minor calf injury, but is expected to return to form and continue on his upward trajectory in the near future
FC Bayern Munich, Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League, Alphonso Davies
World News – CA – Bayern’s Chris Richards on MLS ‘path to Bundesliga and his stint at FC Dallas
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