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Americans Abroad Player of the Week: Chris Richards


It wasn’t a weekend to remember for the American contingent in the German Bundesliga, between Gio Reyna still being injured and Tyler Adams, John Brooks and Julian Green being relegated to bench roles, but Chris Richards did make his way into his team’s starting lineup and took full advantage of the opportunity.

Richards put in a strong 90-minute shift in the heart of Hoffenheim’s defense in a 0-0 draw against Arminia Bielefeld to earn SBI Americans Abroad Player of the Week honors.

Richards finished the match completing 49 of 62 passes, contributing three tackles, a game-high seven clearances and five aerials won in his second straight start since returning to Hoffenheim for a second loan spell from Bayern Munich.

Here is a look at the other Americans Abroad who enjoyed good showings this weekend:

Gianluca Busio

Venezia suffered a disappointing loss in its home opener on Sunday, but Busio was one of the few bright spots, continuing to settle in well with the Serie A club. He recorded his first assist and finished completing 26 of 30 passes, including a pair of key passes.

Haji Wright

Beskitas doesn’t give up may goals in the Turkish League, but Wright was the first to break through this season, scoring his fourth goal in four matches in Antalyaspor’s 3-2 loss to Besiktas.

Joe Scally

Few Americans Abroad have taken better advantage of an opportunity for playing time this season than Scally, who has settled into a regular starting role for Borussia Moenchengadlbach. Injuries opened the door for the teenager and he has taken full advantage, with his most recent solid shift coming at left back again after a run at his natural right back spot. Scally completed 44 of 52 passes, including one key pass in Gladbach’s 1-0 loss to Augsburg.

Brenden Aaronson

Just days after making his UEFA Champions League debut in a starting role, Aaronson put in a stellar 90-minute shift in Red Bull Salzburg’s 2-0 win against Rapid Vienna. Aaronson’s late insurance goal helped seal the victory for the Austrian champions.


  1. Although I mostly agree with what’s been said here, the manager can still set up that young lineup to be successful. Robinson, Pepi, Aaronson, Pulisic, involved in multiple goals in the 2nd half because the manager simplified the system. Yes vets like Lleget and Yedlin were involved but when given tasks they were comfortable with the youngsters were dangerous. Berhalter has done a good job of getting young players minutes this Summer even though some want even more but he’s got to put them in position to succeed. With short windows, travel, and Covid protocols we can’t be trying to do big changes from match to match.

  2. The idea that we can do anything in WCQ or the WC with a bunch of teenagers is seriously misguided. Experienced players need to be a part of the team. Without them we will get killed. And have any of you noticed how many of our kids get injured in WCG matches? The physical nature of the CONCACAF matches favors players who are fully physically developed. Too many you g players on the field will result in physical mismatches, resulting in injuries. We need to give most of these kids time to develop before we throw them into that pressure cooker. An injury during the 18-22 yr old time, when they are developing, can derail their career.

    • And that’s why the calls for Berhalter’s head after the first wcq window is insane and is misguided. Can Berhalter do things better, absolutely, one of them being bringing in a larger roster for the October window because if it wasn’t clear before it’s clear now that we have too many injury problems amongst this group, the second being keeping it simple tactically. I think the youth aspect, while a pertinent discussion to have regarding maturity, the biggest impediment I see is the lack of experience in wcq games, which goes hand in hand with youth. These boys better grow up fast, because as we’ve seen the cushy life playing in europe(perfect pitches, good refereeing, no hostile crowds or hotel shenanigans)doesn’t automatically translate to qualifying from Concacaf. And yes, I’m leaning on our european contingent because they’re the ones who have been anointed as the golden generation having not yet earned such plaudits!

  3. My thoughts exactly Vacqui! Instead of looking at the US pool at ages 23-28, (Both Robinson’s for example), it’s a whole bunch of name dropping of teens! For WCQ?! (Paredes, Che, Johnathon Gomez, etc). Scally will be a fantastic player for the USA, one day, IMO. No one dropped comments when Scally signed a homegrown contract at 16. During or around U17 Concacaf qualifying, Moenchengladbach agreed to bring him over when he turned 18. Fans were silent. Scally isn’t a better LB than Hernández-Foster or Tolkin, who were the LBs for the U17s. Wicky benched Scally, and started Kobe at RB and Tolkin at LB for a match or 2. Bello was injured, or he would’ve been there over Tolkin. From what I saw, there were 3 players from the last U17s, that are capable of senior team, Reyna, Pepi, Busio. Bello because of depth of LB, not mad at that. Tolkin has been playing well. Vines injury has moved him up the depth chart. Seriously, tho, Not even a whole season played? What is less than 20 pro matches going to do against Leon Bailey, Cordova-Ried, & Nicholson, Antonio? Panama away is no joke, they have Blackburn & company. Followed up by Joel Campbell, w/ Leal, Lassiter, & Ugalde on the bench. 3 matches in less than 10 days. We’ve seen players getting their 1st WCQ caps. Dest at LB, Konrad, Sands, Bello, Sargent, BA as midfielder, and Sargent, all got starts on the road. All had some good moments, but mostly bland, or yuck! Reyna, Pepi, McKenzie showed up. Lleget is 28. Turner is 27, Siebatcheu is 25. Roldan is in that age range. Shaq, Green, LDT are between 23-25. The players from the last U20s (Richards, Durkin, Mendez, Servania, Pomykal), are worth more of a look than any other player from the last U17s.

  4. How can we be sure that RB is Joe Scally’s “natural position.” So far he has played 3 games at LB, 1 at RB and 1 at RM. Does anybody even have a highly specific natural position at age 19?

    That said, get him into camp. Competition is great and you can never have too many fullbacks, especially those that appear to be able to play on both sides.

    • Because he’s right footed, the right side is his natural position. Doesn’t mean he can’t carve out a successful career on the left if the situations go that way.

  5. GB has tried to call in Chris multiple times. Chris keeps getting FN hurt. He needs to stay healthy for once in his young career for a long stretch of games. Hasn’t done that yet. I’m sure he will get called if he is healthy. Always cautious with super young players. We have so many and we probably expect to much from them TBH…but with regards to Scally, I have watched every minute if his pro career so far and it is hard not to be impressed. Still…an 18 year old defender in qualies and first time the Nats. Can be tough.

    • Scally has something like 4 MLS league games and 5 BMG league games. He’s looked good but the reason he’s starting at BMG is because the starters are hurt. If you are good enough you’re old enough but Scally has an awfully small sample size on which to judge him.

      One of the biggest criticisms I have heard of the USMNT is that they did not have enough players with WC qualifying experience.

      So Scally is the answer?

      They can’t get mileage out of Cannon or Shaq?
      This is just so much throwing crap on the wall and seeing what sticks.

      Could he be worse than who they have tried or might try there? Damn right he could.

      • I agree with u. Hardcore, young “net” fans don’t understand the issues that come with experience or even travel. Fly from Europe to US, to El Sal, to Cincy, back to Honduras……brutal. Anyone who has traveled and done physical activities will tell u how hard it is physically and mentally….especially if its your first time. Then throw in the dog eat dog qualies and climate issues compared to Europe and it is hard. The lack of respect many have for CCAF qualifying is stunning, and shows complete ignorance. Super, super hard when everything is factored in. FIFA 22 it ain’t. Scally looks beyond his years, decision wise and confidence wise, but this is a different animal. Cannon isn’t playing. He is in limbo. Not good. Perfect qualie player IMO. Moore is limited, and not playing also. Not good. I am not a huge GB fan, but I also understand the travel, qualie history and youth limitations. It’s hard.

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