Chris Richards joins for a conversation from Bavaria, where the 18-yr-old is on loan at Bayern Munich, getting ready for his first regular season U19 game this weekend. Then Greg and Belz run down the European-based player pool ahead of the regular season in the big leagues, and then we take a few Short Corners.
1:23 Richards interview starts. Since the audio is spotty during parts of the conversation, below are timestamps and transcriptions of key things he said that were difficult to hear in the recording.
1:50 Richards on how he found out he was headed to Bayern on loan: “Towards the end of our (U.S. Development Academy) playoffs in San Diego, I got a call from the technical director and he told me that Bayern wanted me to come on loan until December and initially I was like there’s no way this is real, but then I got all my final information and was told to take the next flight to Munich about a week after our last game in San Diego. As soon as I got here I was immediately thrown into first-team training, and one day one of the administrators came up to me and she told me I was going on the first-team preseason tour to the U.S.”
2:42 on whether he knew he was going to be training with the Bayern first team at all: “Oh no. They told me I was playing with the U19s so that’s all I thought I was going to do, just be with the U19s the whole semester...I was so surprised.”
7:12 on training with Alaba and Martinez: “They were so open to helping me with everything. That was really great for me the first few weeks I was here. They’re world class players of course, and it’s refreshing and it’s also amazing that they’re willing to help a young guy like me. It's been really good for me.”
7:38 difference between the Bayern academy and the academies he played for in the U.S.: “one of the big things that coaches here like is, when the centerback is on the ball to take space as fast as you can and then try to release the ball and keep going further down the field. In the academy back home it’s not really something that you’re taught, and when I got here...everyone’s doing it, youth all the way to the first team, and so that was one thing that they really pushed for me to get more comfortable doing.”
14:55 what Texans SC coach Eric Quill saw in Richards back in 2015 and 2016: “Of course he noticed my athleticism. I’ve always been one of the faster (players) and...I’d been able to get away with my athleticism for a while before learning the technical aspect as much...and he liked my vision on and off the ball...I knew where the ball was going, so I was anticipating really well, and when I was on the ball I was always one or two steps ahead of the defense.”
20:56 on whether Bayern will release him for U20 World Cup qualification in November: “I sure hope so. I’m not really sure what their plan is...but if I get the call-up for the qualifiers I’m going to push for that as hard as I can, because that’s a big box that I want to check off.”
24:55 Non-Bundesliga USMNT in Europe preview: Parks, Moore, Weah, Miazga, Yedlin, Robinson, Carter-Vickers, Saief, Palmer-Brown, Novakovich, Scott, Amon, Sabbi, Hamid, Gall, etc.
1:09:35 Short Corners: Busio's first MLS start, Reggie Cannon's ascendance, loans to buy, the USYNT hiring freeze.
Brian Sciaretta's interview with Richards from July 17: http://americansoccernow.com/articles/fc-dallas-homegrown-chris-richards-aiming-high-on-loan-at-bayern-s-u-19s