U.S. men’s national team defender Chris Richards is determined to be part of bringing the first men’s World Cup title back stateside.
Richards is part of the USMNT’s promsing and youthful side, which features Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Sergino Dest, Tyler Adams and Gio Reyna.
With that young core preparing for 2022 and, ultimately, a 2026 World Cup on home soil, Richards says the current group has lofty aims and ambitions of joining the world’s elite.
What did Richards say?
“We want to win every game and every tournament we are in but being able to play on our home soil in 2026 is something that gives us this extra motivation,” Richards told the Guardian. “We want to make history by bringing the first World Cup back.”
A learning experience
Richards made his move to Bayern in 2018, initially on loan from FC Dallas before that loan was made permanent.
His first Bayern appearances came in preseason games against Juventus and Manchester City in 2018, and he steadily rose through the system before making his first official appearance for Bayern last June.
Richards went on to make eight appearances for Bayern before being loaned to Hoffenheim, where he is currently featuring for the club sitting 11th in the Bundesliga.
Now finding his feet in the Bundesliga, Richards looks back at his “welcome to Europe” moment, which features a lesson from the legendary Arjen Robben.
“You know he’s going to go left, you’ve seen him through his whole career so I think: ‘OK, let me push him to his right,'” Richards said.
“So he makes one move to his right and back to his left and he’s past you. You think: ‘Ah, I’ve just got chopped up by Arjen Robben,’ and then you think that he’s done this to the best defenders in the world for years.
“You can’t look at it in awe. You realize that you have a job to do and so you try not to be such a fanboy the next time. It was a big learning curve for me, playing against Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery. It’s something you can’t prepare for. You just have to dive in headfirst.”