The USMNT’s top young defensive prospect Chris Richards is set to depart Bayern Munich on loan, according to Sky Sports Germany. The 20-year-old centerback will join Hoffenheim for at least the rest of the season in order to try and get some consistent professional minutes under his belt.
Sky sources: @USMNT player Chris Richards from @FCBayern will go on loan to @tsghoffenheim. Last details still to be negotiated between the clubs. He didn’t participate in today’s training session and already said goodbye to some team mates #TransferUpdate @Sky_Torben @Sky_Marc— Max Bielefeld (@Sky_MaxB) January 31, 2021
Richards made his Bundesliga and USMNT debuts all within the last 12 months and appears to be one of the centerbacks of the future for Gregg Berhalter’s outfit. Despite making three appearances for Bayern this season and performing very well, the reigning champions have a plethora of defensive options now that everyone has returned to full fitness. Going out on loan to a lower-table Bundesliga side seems like the most logical step for Richards’ career progression and development.
Hoffenheim currently sit 12th in the table after losing to Bayern 4-1 on Saturday. Their manager Sebastian Hoeneß deploys a 3-5-2 formation, which should allow for ample opportunity for Richards to work his way into the lineup.
The Alabama native surely has his sights set on helping U.S. Soccer in some fashion this summer, whether it’s at the Olympics or the Gold Cup. He’ll need a solid loan spell to help him prepare for his first big moment on the international stage.
UPDATE: It’s official!
Richards joins Hoffenheim on loan through the end of the season. A great move for the 20-year-old.