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Chris Richards earns start in Hoffenheim debut


Chris Richards made the switch to fellow Bundesliga side Hoffenheim this week and jumped right into the club’s starting lineup on Sunday.

Richards earned the start on the left side of a three-man backline and went the distance in Hoffenheim’s 3-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt. It was a promising performance for the Bayern Munich loanee, who showed good signs in his individual performance.

The 20-year-old successfully completed all three of his tackles, while winning seven of his 10 duels, and making nine recoveries. Richards also completed 81% of his passes in the match, while standing up well in one-on-one battles.

Hoffenheim tied things up in the 47th minute after an early goal from Eintracht Frankfurt, but would concede twice more after the hour mark. Two goals in a two-minute span handed Frankfurt a 3-1 win and subdued Hoffenheim to a second-consecutive league defeat.

“I was somewhat nervous at the beginning but things got better after the first few successful plays,” Richards said. “We made too many mistakes in our game. The two quick-fire goals decided the match.”

Hoffenheim dropped to 12th in the league table with Sunday’s defeat and will next travel to Borussia Dortmund on February 13th.


  1. Justin Che another teenage CB from FC Dallas just earned himself a loan to Bayern’s U19s after training with several other FCD youth over the last couple weeks.

  2. i recall getting trashed for suggesting he be tried as a LB option. (something about lecturing someone who played both sides in college that it’s just not done.)

    • He played LCB in a three man backline not LB. Could he play there in a pinch like Ream or McKenzie at the U20 WC sure but it’s his 4th best position. Pulisic could play LB too, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. John Brooks and Walker Zimmerman get moved up to the striker role late when their teams need a goal it doesn’t mean we should make them our starting number 9. What Richards needs to make an impact for the NT is playing time against professionals not playing in his worst spot?

      • are you seriously suggesting people who play one side of wingback can’t play the other? are you seriously suggesting the outside backs in a 352 don’t have wingback type defensive responsibilities — particularly if a wing mid loses their man? this is the sort of malarkey a forward says who never defended in his life. i am the one chasing you sideline to sideline and to me the side backs in a 352 have broad ground to cover.

        comparing left vs right side wingback to striker vs back or pulisic playing back is infantile. i played both sides in college. most backs, including richards and others, have game logs showing them playing both sides. it tends to only be one-footed attacking players who can only play one side of defense. if you are picked for defense it tends to be a transferable skill both sides. marking and tackling is marking and tackling. duh.

    • I understand a LCB has some of the responsibility of a LB but they are not all the same. The distances, angles, and body positions are all different. As I said he could play there in a pinch especially if we need a stay home LB as Ream was used last Fall. If we want an up and down the sideline LB being able to dribble up the sideline that’s vastly different. There’s a good article on that shows how much better Richards is on the right than the left and how much better of a CB he is than a RB. If we’re in a tournament with a set roster he could play anywhere in the back but to say we should plan on him being the LB restricts his ability.

      • run him out for the Nats and prove it. it’s a nice theory. it’s a theory contrary to how B.1 teams use him. why does Dest get to try both sides but everyone else gets pigeonholed. sounds like if we want you on the field you get to go everywhere, which begs the question. richards was the far superior U20 prospect signed to a better team and i don’t get why he gets worse treatment. other than dest leveraged dual nationality…..

  3. Guess that the reports that Hoffenheim’s injuries were accurate. You don’t usually see a Loan player tossed into the starting XI a week after the loan’s been signed.
    If he stays in the starting XI he should certainly get a start in one of the March friendlies. A Brooks & Richards pairing for the USMNT could be just what we need to help solidify the defense ahead of WCQ.

    • Hoffenheim’s manager was Bayern II’s manager last season and their U19 manager prior so Chris has been with him for a couple seasons. Didn’t see the match but heard his passing was good and he may have been at least marginally responsible for the set piece goal. I was much less worried when I found out about his history with the manager, hope he doesn’t get sacked though. 10 pts in last ten matches including that 4-0 to Schalke when the American no one had heard of scored 3.

    • Both are left footed. Unless you put Richards as the LB or wingback, they’ll both never feature together, which is too bad.

      • y’all do get most professionals have two feet or at least an outside of their right foot? and defending itself is generally two footed and has more to do with having the requisite positioning sense and physical ability. IMO it tends to be a “I want backs who get forward” obsession that they have the ideal crossing foot. in college i played left, but primarily for marking purposes, and i even had a left footed cross for an assist. you’re trading in malarkey. this is not center back vs 10. this is the same exact position mirrored across the field.

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