Dominance Continues In Four Of Top-5 Soccer Leagues
Rising 20-year-old American soccer talent Chris Richards made his much-anticipated Bayern Munich first-team debut on Saturday in a 3-1 win over Freiburg. The Hoover, Alabama, native, who has played primarily for Bayern II, came on as a second-half substitute in place of Javi Martinez in the 84th minute.
Richards, an FC Dallas youth product, had been training with the first team periodically before finally breaking through the week after Bayern clinched its eighth consecutive title.
“I was very excited when I heard my name to come over to the bench,” Richards told CBS Sports. “Once I got the instructions from the coach then the nerves started to kick it, but after my first action I felt right at home.”
Richards, who has played with the U.S. U-20 national team, was on the bench in last Tuesday’s win over Werder Bremen but did not play. Bayern won that game to become Bundesliga champs.
Here’s the moment he came on:
Richards played six minutes plus added time, had a good challenge near the endline to win a goal kick and looked solid next to Jerome Boateng.
“I felt good about my performance. There was a little mix-up about the header that I lost, so I wish I could’ve done that better, but overall I was happy with my performance,” Richards said.
Bayern has two more games this season before moving on to Champions League play. The Bavarian side will end the German season on Saturday against Wolfsburg before squaring off against Bayer Leverkusen in the DFB-Pokal (German Cup) final on the Fourth of July. It’s unclear whether Richards will play in either of those matches, but Saturday was a good start and motivates him even more.
“It gives me a huge confidence boost,” Richards said. “It shows me that, yes, I did do well, but I want to stay up at this level and that I still have a lot of room left to keep on developing. But this first step meant the world to me and I’m ready to keep grinding.”