The contingent of Americans featuring in Europe’s top competition had already reached a record level, but Chris Richards helped push the number another step further on Wednesday.
The Bayern Munich defender became the eight U.S. Men’s National Team player to feature in this season’s UEFA Champions League, extending the record broken on Tuesday by Konrad De La Fuente’s appearance for Barcelona. The 20-year-old started at left back for Bayern, playing 78 minutes for Bayern Munich, which clinched a Round of 16 berth after a 3-1 home victory over Jesse Marsch’s Red Bull Salzburg.
Richards showed positive moments, completing 85 percent his passes producing a game-high six tackles against a lively Salzburg attack.
Richards recently made his senior debut for the USMNT in a 6-2 friendly win over Panama and now added his UCL debut to his growing list of achievements as a player.
The number of USMNT players that have featured in this season’s Champions League is up to eight, shattering the previous record of six set in the 2004-2005 competition. That number could still rise, with Manchester City’s Zack Steffen and Ajax’s Alex Mendez also eligible to make their debuts in the competition, should their teams call on them in the final two group stage matches.
Manchester City sits top of Group C with 12 points while Ajax is third in Group D with seven.