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USMNT Weekly Youth Update: Chris Richards trains with Bayern’s first team

Richards is getting a shot with Bayern’s injury problems.

SV Meppen v Bayern Muenchen II - 3. Liga Photo by Michael Titgemeyer/Getty Images for DFB

This was the final week before Wednesday’s November roster announcement and a final opportunity for the players to convince US Soccer that they were worthy of a look. It was another good week for young Americans, with several good club performances (such as Pulisic scoring again for Chelsea and McKennie returning from injury and picking up an assist in the DFB Pokal) and Sergiño Dest’s decision to commit to the United States. For any new readers, the rating at the end of each update reflects how much I believe he should be called up to the senior national team at the next opportunity (1-nowhere near ready; 10-absolutely call him up and start him). Here’s what’s going on this week:


Chris Richards - Centerback, Bayern Munich

As was somewhat expected, news came out this week that Chris Richards has started training with the Bayern first team. With injury concerns, the 19-year-old is getting an opportunity to impress the first team coaches and potentially make a matchday squad. It didn’t happen this weekend, but he did get another potential boost when Jerome Boateng was sent off in the 9th minute in their 4-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt. With Niklas Süle already out for the remainder of the year and Boateng suspended for next week’s “Der Klassiker” (the matchup against Borussia Dortmund), perhaps that will be Richards’ chance to make the squad for the first time. Richards played with Bayern II as usual this weekend, and he scored his first professional goal in a 5-3 loss to SV Meppen. Hopefully he can take advantage of this chance. Rating: 5

Josh Sargent - Striker, Werder Bremen

Josh Sargent got the start in the DFB Pokal against 2. Bundesliga club FC Heidenheim on Wednesday. The 19-year-old was again on the scoresheet when he set up the game’s second goal. Sargent released Leonardo Bittencourt to double Bremen’s lead in the 11th minute. The assist puts Sargent at two goals and three assists in 681 minutes in all competitions this season. Bremen would go on to rout Heidenheim 4-1. On Saturday, Sargent came off the bench in the 72nd minute in their 2-2 draw with SC Freiburg. It would be shocking if Sargent isn’t in the starting lineup against Canada on November 15th. Rating: 10


Antonee Robinson - Left Back, Wigan Athletic

Robinson was honored by making WhoScored’s Championship Team of the Week for the month of October. The 21-year-old has been an every-game starter and has performed well on both ends of the field in recent weeks. On Saturday, Robinson got the start against league-leading Swansea City. Robinson struggled with turnovers in this match (and he has strug with this this season), but he was very active again defensively. His speed allows him to close down space and passing angles and launch counter attacks. In this match, a late Swansea winner denied Wigan a point in a 2-1 loss. Robinson couldn’t close down a cross from the right flank and the ensuing header beat the Wigan keeper. We’ll see if he can clean up his shortcomings enough to get another look. With Sergiño Dest now officially in the pool, the fullback spots just became harder to crack. Rating: 7


Luca Lewis - Goalkeeper, Torino

Lewis made his first appearance when he got the nod in goal for Torino’s U-19s this weekend. He also got a win in a 5-1 victory over Bologna’s U-19s. The 18-year-old has been with Torino since signing in July of 2017 and had previously played at the U-17 level. He had been the backup to Luca Trombini until Sunday. Hopefully he can continue to earn the starts as he pushes up a level. Lewis is one of many goalkeeping candidates to watch for in the next U-20 cycle. Rating: 1


Haji Wright - Striker, VVV-Venlo

Wright scored his first goal for the Dutch club this week. Facing fourth tier RKSC Groene Ster in the Dutch Cup (the Toto KNVB Beker), Wright came off the bench in the 89th minute with VVV-Venlo in desperate need of a tying goal. The 21-year-old struck in stoppage time to level the score at 2-2 and send the match to penalties. Unfortunately Wright’s penalty was saved and that ended their hopes of a run in the Dutch Cup. On Sunday, Wright was back in the starting lineup as they faced Feyenoord in league play. Wright had some decent statistics in the match (including winning 9/14 duels and completing +83% of his passes) but he rarely threatened the Feyenoord defense in the 3-0 loss. VVV-Venlo continues to struggle and face a battle to avoid relegation from the Eredivisie. Wright needs to show a lot more if he’s going to get anywhere near the senior national team. Rating: 3


Jonathan Amon - Winger, FC Nordsjælland

Amon has had a really rough season. He’s barely played as he’s struggled with injuries, only appearing twice in late September. He’s been out of the team ever since while recovering from injury. The 20-year-old has promise and is a dangerous attacker, but he needs to be available for selection far more than he has been. He’s only played 1,432 first team minutes since the start of the 2018/2019 season. It’s a shame. Rating: 4

Emmanuel Sabbi - Winger, Hobro IK

Sabbi has hit a patch of good form and continued that this week. On Sunday, Sabbi started as usual as Hobro took on Odense Boldklub. In the 31st minute with Hobro down 2-0, Sabbi scored a candidate for goal of the season by an American with this lovely free kick.

The 21-year-old now has five goals on the season. Hobro was unable to complete the comeback and now sit in 12th place in the 14-team league. He should play a big role in Olympic qualifying if they can get him released. With quality finishers so rare in this pool, I’d like to see him get a look with the full national team at some point. However, it seems unlikely it will happen anytime soon. Rating: 6


Matko Miljevic - Attacking Midfielder, Argentinos Juniors

Following his breakout game a couple months ago, Miljevic has found playing time hard to come by. The 18-year-old made just his second appearance since then when he came off the bench in their midweek matchup with Talleres Cordoba. Argentinos Juniors are tied for first place in the Superliga Argentina on points headed into Monday’s matchup with Defensa y Justicia. Miljevic is an interesting player with the ability to beat defenders off the dribble. We’ll see if he can push his way into being a more regular player going forward. Rating: 4

Keep an eye out for Christian Pulisic v Sergiño Dest II this week when Ajax travel to London to take on Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League. Unfortunately, Tyler Adams and Timothy Weah remain out, so it’s unlikely they will feature for Leipzig and Lille respectively. As always, hit the comment section to let me know if there’s anything major I overlooked or if there’s anyone you’d like to hear about. Thank you for reading!