By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter: 'I have Chris Richards in my sights'

FC Bayern youth talent Chris Richards, product of the same FC Dallas youth academy as Weston McKennie, may feature sparingly for his parent club or even get loaned out this season. In any event, the USMNT team manager expects demonstrable progress from one of his "future centre-backs".
In an interview with German footballing magazine Sport Bild, USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed that he had up-and-coming Bayern talent Chris Richards in his sights and may be prepared to give the 20-year-old center back his first senior side call-up soon. Richards made his debut for the Bayern first-team debut in the league’s penultimate round, coming on as a late sub in a 3-1 over Freiburg. He was definitely of the crucial cogs in the FC Bayern II squad that won the third division.

The German Bundesliga looks set for another eventful season in terms of showcasing young American talent. Seventeen-year-old Giovanni Reyna, son of former US captain Claudio Reyna, appears poised for a breakout campaign. RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams, finally fully fit after an injury-laden two years, seems to have a regular starting XI role cemented on Julian Nagelsmann’s side.

Despite a somewhat disappointing 2019/20 campaign, 20-year-old striker Josh Sargent should still see significant playing time Florian Kohfeldt’s SV Werder Bremen. The young Missourian, who already boasts five goals in 12 caps for the USMNT, will have ample opportunity to redeem himself in Germany’s top flight.

Joe Scally, a red hot 17-year-old American prospect, is scheduled to join Borussia Mönchengladbach in January. In addition to all of this, American footballing enthusiasts will have the privilege of watching one of their emerging coaching talents every week. Pellegrino Materazzo, trainer of promoted VfB Stuttgart, shall make history as the first ever manager to run a team in the country’s elite division.

Richards likely will not find his way into the Bayern starting XI and, as such, has been the subject of loan talks. 1. FC Union Berlin expressed interest earlier in the Summer. German footballing magazine Kicker reports a number of other unspecified feelers from unnamed Bundesliga sides.

Berhalter intimated in the interview that Bayern possess explicit plans for Richards. “I find the cooperation between Bayern and the USSF (United States Football Federation) to be outstanding.” After noting that the club and the FA remain in regular contact, Berhalter noted, “together we’re trying to develop a huge talent into a top player.”

“Bayern have a plan with Chris,” he concluded, “He will take his strong level [of play] even higher in the new season.”

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