Fresh off the best year of his professional career, Richards comes into 2011 as one of the premier attacking players in Major League Soccer. In 2010, the Jamaican International posted career highs in goals, shots, and shots on goal, and led the team with four game winning goals. Now in his fifth season with the Red Bulls since the club drafted him out of Clemson University, the 27 year-old speedster will be one of the key figures in the club’s championship hopes.
Finalizando el mejor año en su carrera profesional, Richards entra en el 2011 como uno de los mejores jugadores de ataque en la Major League Soccer. En el 2010, el internacional jamaicano se destacó convirtiendo goles y rematando al arco, siendo fundamental en cuatro victorias de su equipo. Ahora en su quinta temporada con los Red Bulls desde que el club lo seleccionó proveniente de la Universidad de Clemson, el velocista de 27 años será una de las figuras claves de la esperanza del club en alcanzar el campeonato.
2010: Registered career highs in goals (5), shots (35), and game-winning goals (4), which was a team high for the season. Played in 25 games, starting 23, and had three assists. Picked up assist on Salou Ibrahim’s goal in 2-0 victory against D.C. United on May 1. Scored goal and added assist in friendly vs. Manchester City on July 25. Missed matches vs. Toronto on Aug. 11, and Sept. 4 and Oct. 9 matches vs. Real Salt Lake due to call up from Jamaica National Team. Assisted on Carl Robinson’s goal at Toronto on Aug. 21. Named Man of the Match Aug. 28 vs. San Jose, scoring first goal of the season and assisting on Thierry Henry goal. Goal against San Jose awarded MLS Goal of the Week. Scored second goal of season in 3-1 victory over Colorado on Sept. 11. Scored third goal of the season on Sept. 24 at Los Angeles. Scored game winner on Oct. 2 versus Kansas City, his fourth goal in five matches. Scored goal in season finale on Oct. 21 versus New England.
2009: Scored three goals to go along with two assists in a team-high 27 appearances. Scored first goal of the season on April 26 against D.C. United. Scored in two-straight wins on Aug. 23 against FC Dallas (3-2) and Aug. 30 versus the Columbus Crew (1-0).
2008: Recorded three goals to go along with team-high six assists. Started season nursing right MCL tear suffered in preseason in February. Made first appearance of season on May 1 at Toronto FC. Suffered hip flexor strain against Los Angeles on July 19 and missed three games. Scored first goal of season in 3-0 win over Houston on Aug. 24. Played all four playoff games and earned MLS Cup Playoffs Player of the Week after having a hand in all three Red Bulls goals in 3-0 win over Houston in Western Conference Semifinal Series. Had a goal and two assists in the playoffs. Tallied assist in MLS Cup Final, providing pass for John Wolyniec’s goal in 3-1 loss. Named team’s Young Player of the Year.
2007: Made his first MLS start on April 7 at Columbus and notched his first MLS point when he assisted on Clint Mathis’ goal on April 15 against FCD. Scored his first career MLS goal on May 5 against Real Salt Lake. Started 27 out of 28 games he played in as a rookie finishing with two goals and six assists. Was a finalist for the 2007 MLS Rookie of the Year.
Has earned 26 caps with Jamaica. Led Jamaica to the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup championship, scoring three goals in five tournament matches, good for a share of the Golden Boot. Scored his first international goal on Aug. 11, 2010 in a 3-1 victory over Trinidad and Tobago. Again scored versus Trinidad and Tobago on Oct. 10, 2010, converting a penalty kick in a 1-0 victory. Participated in 2010 World Cup qualifying matches and helped Jamaica win the 2008 Digicel Caribbean Cup, appearing in five matches.
A speedy attacking player, Richards, who played at Clemson University, earned Second Team NSCAA All-American honors after scoring 11 goals and nine assists in 20 games as a senior and was a Hermann Award Finalist. He also garnered a NSCAA All-South First Team selection as well as a First Team All-ACC selection. As a junior at Clemson, he led team in goals (12), assists (eight) and points (32). Earned NCAA All-Final Four Team honors after scoring three-straight game-winners in NCAA Tournament. During first two college years, he played for San Jacinto Junior College in Houston, TX where he had 22 goals and 11 assists, good for 55 points in only 17 games. Was named the National Junior College Player of the Year in 2004.
Son of Diana and Delroy, Richards has five sisters. He listens to reggae and hip hop. His favorite movies inclue American Pie, Blood Diamond, Superbad and Knocked Up. Was selected for the Jamaican National Team and played against the United States on April 11, 2006. Favorite MLS city is Houston and his favorite restaurant is Applebees.