Judging by Hoffenheim's match against Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday, that could very well be the case, as the young defender immediately slotted into the starting lineup and went the full 90 minutes in his club debut. While his team wound up falling 3-1, Richards acquitted himself nicely, showcasing some of the upside that has made him one of the most intriguing young players in the US men's national team pool.
Hoffenheim may have lost 3-1 today, but Chris Richards still did a strong job in his debut for the club. 81% passing completion rate, 7/10 duels won, 5 clearances, 1/1 dribbles, 3/3 tackles, 9 recoveries. #USMNT— Larry Henry Jr (@lhenry019) February 7, 2021
Richards originally joined Bayern Munich from Dallas in January 2019 and has played for Bayern’s U-19 side and FC Bayern Munich II. He made three appearances for Bayern this season before the loan, making his first start and picking up his first assist in a 4-3 win over Hertha BSC back in October.
The 20-year-old is a product of FC Dallas' much-heralded youth development system, playing his youth soccer for the MLS club's academy from 2017 until his 2019 loan to Bayern that eventually landed him a permanent contract.
Richards' progress with Hoffenheim going forward will be a storyline to keep tabs on going forward for MLS and USMNT fans alike.