Bayern Munich II defender Chris Richards had an extremely strong season in 3.Liga, and his performance has caught the attention of a pretty important person in United States soccer: USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter.
In an interview with Sport Bild, Berhalter spoke earnestly about Richards and his development with Bayern Munich.
“Of course I also am keeping an eye on him. Chris is one of our central defenders for the future,” Berhalter said. “I’m very happy with his development, and I think the cooperation and the regular communication between us as an American association and FC Bayern is outstanding. We are trying to develop a great player from a great talent together. Bayern has a plan with Chris, he has optimal conditions in Munich, and he’s receiving competitive experience. He will raise his already strong level even further in the new season.”
In addition to Richards, Berhalter also gave his thoughts on Borussia Dortmund midfielder Gio Reyna and Werder Bremen forward Josh Sargent, who also figure to be a key player for the USMNT.
“Gio hasn’t played an A-level international match yet only because our friendlies against Holland and Wales in March were canceled on account of the coronavirus pandemic. He’ll get a chance in our next international match, that’s very clear” said Berhalter. “Reyna has a fantastic mentality. He’s still a teenager but plays like an old hand ... At BVB he now has a great chance of starting a great career.”
Berhalter then praised Sargent’s work ethic and resilience to continuing to battle for playing time at Werder Bremen.
“If you move from home to Europe at a young age, you have to grow up much faster,” Berhalter said. “You’re alone, without your family, and you have to fight for everything at the beginning. That shapes and hardens a player. A good example is Josh Sargent. He didn’t always reach his top level at Werder, but he stuck through it and earned a place on the team.”