Chris Richards has impressed so far this season with Bayern Munich’s U19 side, and the 17 year old loanee looks to have a bright future ahead of him. His six month loan from FC Dallas, Bayern’s partner club in North America’s MLS, came a few months after the two clubs announced an official partnership.
Richards recently earned a call up to the USMNT U-20 side for their pair of U-20 CONCACAF qualifiers against Costa Rica and Honduras, as his efforts with Bayern’s U19’s haven’t gone unnoticed. He’s also trained a handful of times with Bayern’s senior squad and even made a solid impression during the summer pre-season tour in the United States, where he started and played the full 90 minutes against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Speaking to Grant Wahl, via Sports Illustrated, Richards expressed his excitement to continue working hard at Bayern to try and lock down a future there once his loan spell ends:
I’m not knocking MLS at all, but everyone’s dream is to play on the biggest stage possible. Hopefully I can stay here, and Bayern can give me a professional contract. And if not, I’ll go back to Dallas and keep working through the ranks.
Training and playing alongside some of the senior players in the Bayern squad, Richards explained, has helped him develop greatly since his loan spell has started. David Alaba, in particular, has taken Richards under his wing and has helped him more so than any of the other players in the squad:
Alaba has been really good for me. He kind of took me under his wing, whether it was during training or after training or before training. He showed me around the first-team campus, and he speaks really good English, so he was helping me out. On the preseason tour, he was giving me pointers on what I should do in certain aspects of the game at different points. He has been amazing for me.
Everything thus far at Bayern has been a dream come true for Richards, and he’s still finding it difficult to put into words just how amazing of an experience it’s been:
It’s a crazy feeling. You grow up watching these players in Champions League, and now I’m training with them. It’s something that’s even hard to put it into words. You just want to stargaze when you’re out there on the field, but you actually have to play with them and hold your own. It was a weird transition at first, but it’s something I could only dream about.