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Bayern’s centerback crisis could open the door for Chris Richards

U.S. Under-23 national team defender Chris Richards has joined Bayern Munich’s first team for training, and could make his first official appearance on match-day squad in the wake of the team’s current centerback crisis.

Bayern, which just fired manager Niko Kovac, could call on Richards after Jerome Boateng’s recent red card earned in the team’s 4-1 Bundesliga loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Bayern was already facing the prospects of being without Niklas Sule, who suffered a season-ending knee injury two weeks ago. Now with Boateng set to serve a suspension, Richards could be called on to fill in the squad for Saturday’s marquee clash with Borussia Dortmund.

Richards scored his first goal for Bayern’s reserve team in Sunday’s 5-3 loss to Meppen, and has continued to build on the success he enjoyed at the Under-20 World Cup, where the former FC Dallas academy player was the U.S. team’s most impressive player during its run to the quarterfinals.

Most recently, Richards has taken part in the U.S. Under-23 national team’s setup under head coach Jason Kreis. Though he is only 19, Richards is one of the top options in a deep pool of U-23 central defenders.

Bayern is being led by interim coach Hans Flick and takes on Olympiakos in UEFA Champions League action on Wednesday.

Richards is no stranger to playing with Bayern’s first team, having played with Bayern at the 2018 International Champions Cup, but he has yet to be part of an official Bayern first-team squad. That could change this week.


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