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Chris Richards joins Hoffenheim on season-long loan


Young American defender Chris Richards was staring at the very real possibility of being buried deep on the bench at Bayern Munich for the upcoming Bundesliga season, a fate that couldn’t have been all that appealing to a player who enjoyed a successful stint as a Bundesliga starter last season.

Now, the 21-year-old U.S. men’s national team prospect is going to have the chance to build on last season’s success after securing another loan to Bundesliga side TSG Hoffenheim, with the new deal set to run for the full upcoming season.

The new loan deal will come in conjunction with a contract extension for Richards at Bayern Munich, with his current deal set to run through the 2022-2023 season.

Richards will be reunited with Hoffenheim manager Sebastian Hoeness, who first managed him with Bayern Munich’s reserve team before reuniting with Richards last season.

The former FC Dallas academy product made 11 appearances for Hoffenheim last season, enjoying a strong run as a starting central defender before suffering a hip injury that cost him the final three matches of the Bundesliga season and knocked him out of contention for the USMNT’s Concacaf Nations League squad.

Richards remains one of the top young central defender prospects in the USMNT pipeline, and the return to Hoffenheim should provide him with the opportunity for the kind of consistent playing time that should help him continue to develop so he can make a push for a regular role in Gregg Berhalter’s national team setup.

As things stand, Richards has made three appearances with the USMNT, earning his national team debut last November.

What do you think of this development? Excited to see Richards have a chance to start for a full season in the Bundesliga? Think he should have stayed at Bayern? See him challenging for a starting role with the USMNT in 2021?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. If not for an injury, we would’ve seen CR at the GC. If not for club transfer, he would be in camp. It’s possible that GB was waiting for his club situation to settle. This seems to be a positive step to seeing him in October for WCQ. (As well as Green, Miazga, Hoppe and LDT).

  2. This is a wonderful development. He gets loaned to a Club & Coach who know him well so should be able to slot back into their starting XI. The loan is for the rest of the season…so it gives him ample stability for the year under a new contract which I’m sure gives him a salary bump.
    With a strong showing this season he’ll either be in the running for BM rotation next season or BM will receive improved offers for a transfer/sale.
    A full season of Bundesliga 1st team minutes will put him right in the mix for the 2022 WC squad as either the Brooks partner or Brooks back-up. M. Robinson may have the edge (experience) right now, but a full season of games for Hoffenheim will put on the pressure Miles.
    Brooks, Robinson, Richards…is a strong start to the CB pool. Sands, Miazga, McKenzie, CCV, EPB, & Zimmerman can fight it out for the last spot (or 2) for the 23.

  3. This move will really help Richards at such a crucial time in his development. He belongs at a mid-level club with opportunity for playing time instead of watching BM buy yet another transfer instead of grooming upcoming talent. I pencil in Robinson as Brooks partner today, but Richards could offer competition in later WCQ if he earns playing time.

  4. Glad to see him loaned back to a familiar team and coach, instead of continuous loans to different teams. Definitely can see him possibly working his way into the October qualifiers if he plays consistently and well.

  5. people are daft why on earth do you sign an extension through 20-freaking-25 with the team that will barely play you. like he’s trying to figure out a way to make sure he stays behind zimmermann sands robinson. not sure where people see the 2022 chance going back on loan to the team that didn’t platform him to the NT this year. unwise. and before people start explaining the “virtues” of this, it’s him agreeing to a few more contract years so they will let him out on loan to the same team he could join permanently on a free in a year.

    • while i understand the logic that this gets him “out of bayern,” it only does in a one year sense, and for the longer term, it “puts him back in” even longer. to be fair, he could be sold as the years progress. but he could also simply be serially loaned, with each successive loan framed as an escape except he extended the times he has to escape. to me he’d put himself outside looking in for NT, take your lumps for a final contract year, play chicken and see if they would loan you again without an extension or release you and then go someplace next season permanently, that you can choose. i do not get this “sign again and i will loan you” nonsense. if a NFL player repeatedly signed back up with a team that puts you on the practice squad, and didn’t go to another team to try and make their squad, or drop down to CFL to show they could play, you’d think they were batty. with these bayern and chelsea loans you only seem to complicate your exit and raise your asking price by playing well on loan. and if you play badly on loan your career gets worse. i don’t see where the positive is.

      • also, to the extent he blew off NT summer calls for bayern hoping to “boomerang” the coach, he basically went around in a circle. “boomerang” meaning go away to go around. he ends up where he was in the spring. still want to tell me he should go do preseason instead? fwiw: his skipping-brother reynolds has 0 league minutes and a 1 minute sub in UCL playoff rounds for roma. meanwhile hoppe to mallorca and vines to antwerp. fwiw2: both arguments had a “logic,” but only one path actually worked. guess which.

    • Man you just spew out stuff cause you have a mouth LOL I can see you are nothing but a troll. You do realize only reason he didn’t play for us during the summer was because he got injured and didn’t play the last 3 Bundesliga games. This is a solid move. Prove how good he is. And maybe another top level club that isn’t Bayern will buy him next summer. And if anything he could be amazing and convince Bayern to start him.

      • I’ll quibble. TIV makes strong opinions I frequently disagree with but honestly I’d rather see strong opinions than nothing and his views do inspire conversation because he often raises interesting points. He’s not trolling.

        In this case I agree with you on Richards, though. He gets his PT but he stays linked to Bayern which I think at this point is more advantageous for him. He aspires to start at Bayern and Bayern clearly wants to keep him around if not starting so hey, get PT, get more experienced, get better…and hopefully by the time he’s 23 or 24 he IS starting at Bayern, which is one of the hardest teams in the world to break into.

        Can’t fault Richards for his aspirations…and again, that Bayern seems reluctant to part with him is an encouraging sign because it means they think he might indeed be good enough for them some day (if not today!). And even if Bayern DOESN’T want him eventually his long association with them will likely only raise his value over the long term and could create a better opportunity elsewhere.

    • I’m loathe to criticize people for signing contracts if I haven’t read said contracts and don’t really understand the ins and outs. Have you read Richard’s deal? How much is he making? Are there any release clauses?.

      Bayern love the kid. They think he’s going to be a big time player for them but not just yet.

      If they didn’t, they would have sold him to Hoffenheim a while ago. His first priority is to shore up his day job.

      Once that is done whether it is at Hoffenheim or Bayern then he can worry about his competition for the spot next to Brooks or even replacing Brooks.

      I doubt that he has a lot to worry about.

  6. Really happy to see Chris Richards get this loan. He has a good chance making the World Cup if he stays healthy. Would love to see a Richards and Miles Robinson down the road. Right now I’m betting Miles Robinson as Brooks partner


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