Bayern Munich has signed FC Dallas product Chris Richards on a four-and-a-half-year contract until June 30, 2023. The Alabama native, who developed most recently in the United States under Texans SC and FC Dallas, was initially signed on loan to the U19s in July 2018.
In his time with Bayern, Richards, has amassed over 1,700 minutes of play in more than 20 competitive matches with the Bavarians. Richards also featured in the club’s first team during the 2018 Audi Summer Tour for the International Champions Cup.
#FCBayern signs Chris Richards from @FCDallas!— FC Bayern US (@FCBayernUS) January 24, 2019
Bayern Campus Manager, Jochen Sauer was ecstatic to complete the deal:
We are very happy that we have agreed Chris’ transfer from FC Dallas. Chris has represented us very well in the last six months and we are convinced that he will continue to develop well here at FC Bayern. We see great potential in him.
Bayern’s President of the Americas Rudolf Vidal thinks this is a tremendous moment for the club’s goal of acquiring global talent:
Just under a year ago, we entered a partnership with FC Dallas to create pathways to professional soccer in the U.S. and Europe for young players. To be able to announce the transfer of a player today is a landmark moment for all involved.
"I've always dreamt of playing for a big European club and now I’m at one of the world’s top teams. I'm really happy."— FC Bayern US (@FCBayernUS) January 24, 2019
It was 20 days ago that a report on the official MLS website claimed that Bayern had completed the transfer of Richards from FC Dallas. This permanent move was inevitable, but Sam Stejskal stated that a deal was finalized but not officially announced until today:
FC Dallas have completed the sale of US youth international center back Chris Richards to Bayern Munich, a source confirmed to MLSsoccer.com on Saturday. The source said that Bayern will pay Dallas a transfer fee in the low seven-figure range for Richards. FCD will also receive a cut of a future transfer fee if Bayern eventually sell the 18-year-old, who spent the second half of 2018 on loan to the German giants.
The deal was reportedly close to being completed in December, but negotiations between the two clubs lasted a bit longer than initially anticipated. The official transfer comes just over six months after Richards’s loan spell from FC Dallas. He has looked bright for Bayern’s U19s, scoring two goals and providing an assist from a total of 21 appearances across competitions. Additionally, Richards also played an integral part of the United States Men’s National Team’s U20 side clinching the CONCACAF Championship title in November.
Richards’ dream has come true, if we look back at what he said in November:
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.
Richards knows big things are coming for him, and we can’t wait to see him flourish with Bayern:
the stars are so beautiful this high up— chris richards (@eastmamba) January 5, 2019
Moving forward, this deal could be a benchmark for future business between the Bundesliga and the MLS, and more specifically, FC Dallas and Bayern Munich. There have been a handful of American internationals that have gone on to establish themselves in the Bundesliga and both Richards and Alphonso Davies could prove to be the next two starlets to do so.