Chris Richards: ‘An honour to be part of this team’
The first time from the start: a dream came true for Chris Richard last Sunday. He became the first player ever from the USA to start a Bundesliga game for FC Bayern. The 20-year-old produced an impressive performance in the 4-3 win against Hertha Berlin and was regularly involved in the Bayern attacks.
First start for an America for FC Bayern
Richard's appearance is historic: never before has an American started a game in the Bundesliga for FC Bayern - previously Landon Donovan and Julian Green came on as substitutes. "It was incredible to be in the starting XI. Having the possibility to be on the pitch with these players was an impressive experience and it made a lifelong dream come true for me. To be the first American in the Bundesliga starting line-up for FC Bayern is a great honour," said Richards in an interview with fcbayern.com.
First goal involvement with FCB first team
The two-footed defender set up three shots before he was substituted. Richards immediately got involved in the Bayern game, made himself available, demanded the ball and regularly got past the opposition defence. On 36 minutes, he put in a delightful cross to Thomas Müller that ended up in the net but the goal was ruled out for offside after the intervention of VAR. 89.6% of his 48 passes found a teammate. The 20-year-old was rewarded for his courageous performance at the beginning of the second half with his first Bundesliga assist, when Robert Lewandowski converted a low cross to make the score 2-0. His full debut ended on 65 minutes as Richards went off to be replaced by French World Cup winner Benjamin Pavard.
2018: The big move to Europe
Richards was born in Birmingham in the southern USA state of Alabama. As a youth player he was at the Houston Texans before joining the academy at FC Dallas. From the partner club of FC Bayern, he went over the pond to the German record champions in July 2018, initially playing for the U19s and in addition to the U19 Bundesliga he was also in action in the UEFA Youth League. Last season, the young American played 31 games for the FC Bayern Reserves scoring four goals -- and that as a defensive specialist! He made his Bundesliga debut last season in the 3-1 home win against SC Freiburg when he came on in the 84th minute.
Flick: Long may it continue
Head coach Hansi Flick praised the American after the spectacular win against Hertha Berlin: "Chris Richards did his job well. It wasn't an easy game for him. We can be very happy with his first start. Long may it continue," said Flick.
Here is the match report on the first start for Chris Richards: