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Americans Abroad Player of the Week: Chris Richards

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Earning your first two English Premier League starts against Manchester United and Newcastle United would be a bit daunting for any player, but for American defender Chris Richards it was a smooth transition to what he will hope is a long-term starting role.

Richards made back-to-back starts against the Red Devils and Magpies respectively for Crystal Palace over the past five days, helping Patrick Vieira’s side earn consecutive draws. The 22-year-old stepped in for the injured Joachim Andersen and did not disappoint, rising to the challenge and exceeding every expectation.

Richards’ stellar outings helped him earn SBI’s Americans Abroad Player of the Week honor.

The Alabama native won 12 of his 15 duels, made 12 clearances, and most importantly helped Crystal Palace steal points from two of the top four teams in the current EPL table. Richards had been a spectator for Palace in recent weeks, but after being thrust into the starting lineup, the U.S. men’s national team defender will be hoping for a lengthy stay going forward.

Here is a look at some of the other top Americans Abroad performers from the past week:


Alex Zendejas


Club America attacker Alex Zendejas might be heading into this month’s USMNT camp on the best run of form after excelling over the weekend in Liga MX.

Zendejas scored his first goal and registered his first assist of the new Clausura season in Club America’s 2-2 draw with Puebla on Saturday. The 24-year-old delivered a Man of the Match performance at Estadio Azteca, giving USMNT fans a glimpse of what he hopes to achieve during the two-match international window.


Josh Sargent


Norwich City made it back-to-back road wins in EFL Championship action on Saturday as Josh Sargent reached double-digit goals.

Sargent scored the third goal in the Canaries’ 4-2 road win over Coventry City, giving new manager David Wagner his first two victories with the club. The 22-year-old now has 10 league goals for Norwich City this season, propelling it back into the top-six of the league table.

Sargent also led all players on Saturday with three tackles completed, while he also chipped in five won duels and two recoveries.


Djordje Mihailovic


AZ Alkmaar is flying high in the Dutch Eredivisie this season and Djordje Mihailovic has fit nicely into the plans.

Mihailovic played 56 minutes off the bench on Sunday in AZ Alkmaar’s 3-1 home victory over Vitesse Arnhem. The 24-year-old created the most chances (3) and completed the most tackles (6) for Pascal Jansen’s squad, while continuing to carve out his role in the squad.

AZ Alkmaar sits second in the league table, only two points behind league-leaders Feyenoord.


Weston McKennie


Weston McKennie has continued to excel for Juventus since the FIFA World Cup, recently leading the club to a Coppa Italia win over Monza before a 3-3 Serie A league draw with Atalanta.

McKennie assisted once in the 2-1 triumph over Monza, before logging another 90 minutes on Sunday in Turin. The 24-year-old was previously linked with a January exit from Juventus, but looks to be staying in Massimiliano Allegri’s squad due to his added playing time.

Juventus will want to stay in the Serie A title race through the winter and keeping McKennie might be key for that to happen.


What did you think of the top Americans Abroad performances this past week? Who impressed you the most? Who didn’t make the list that you feel deserved a mention?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. on ream, i keep hearing a type of US fan wanting him still involved, he will be 39 in 2026 and did they not watch what kane did to him the other day. older, inconsistent back. i think we lucked out. take your W and move on. to get blunt, if the starting pair had stayed healthy he probably never sees the field in qatar. it’s academic until march anyway. but i’d be spending that time on players not older than dirt.

    Reply
    • I might be wrong but I think people are saying through the NL this summer not all the way to 2026. Maybe I’ve misunderstood. As a place holder while Miles recovers from Achilles and Chris hopefully stays healthy and McKenzie and Trusty continue to get more and more time.

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    • can he go someplace he starts, is this too much to ask? the repeated solution to “rotational guy at dortmund” or “rotational guy at CFC” seems to be to suggest another elite club where one is in a constant fight for playing time. that makes him a good salary. that gets him his % chunk of the transfer fee. that doesn’t actually fix the reason he keeps bouncing to the next one.

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    • Sounds like move might be off because of the unknown of the injury recovery time. But it’s the transfer window that could all change tomorrow.

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  2. i thought he was one of the top two players from his U20 class, him and weah. GB took his time on weah and even longer on richards, due to unfortunate gambler’s ideas of “club form” that seek out perceived “streaks” and in practice favor players signing at easier clubs who see the field faster and can claim “club form” sooner. it’s backwards because it punishes the most in-demand players at the toughest clubs where playing time is most competitive. ironically the ones elite scouts would think are the most talented which is why they were at bayern or PSG.

    anyhow i thought he looked like one of the more talented marking backs i had seen in a while and with some central and wide versatility to boot. it was unfortunate he got hurt. but i hope with the new coach — assuming — the focus shifts off statistics back towards evaluation of skill sets and talent.

    Reply
    • Richards/Berhalter Timeline:
      Jan 2019: yet to play pro match, playing for Bayern U19s
      Mar 2019: final camp before U20 WC
      June 2019: U20 WC (technically could have went straight from that to GC but still no pro matches and that would have been brutal to play 2 international tournaments back to back)
      Sept 2019: Chris has ankle injury during training camp, plays in 3, 3rd division matches as RB.
      Oct. 2019: Richards after 6 professional matches (3rd division) all out of position at RB plays U23 friendlies as they prepare for 2020 Olympics
      Nov. 2019: Richards continues with U23s against Brazil (Berhalter still inexcusably unaware of upcoming global pandemic)
      Jan 2020: Not released by Bayern for camp outside window
      Mar 2020: was not released for Olympic qualifying, no NT camp Covid shuts down the world
      Nov 2020: Richards makes NT debut in first camp since joining Bayern first team
      Dec 2020/Jan2021: not available non-Fifawindows
      Mar 2021: plays in both Wales and Jamaica matches
      June 2021 NL: Injured unavailable
      July 2021 GC: Injured unavailable
      Sept 2021WCQ: missed summer friendlies due to ankle injury had played 2 mins for Bayern left off roster to continue rehab
      Oct 2021: makes for first WCQ start vs CR
      Nov 2021: Plays both matches
      Jan 2022: starts first two matches, suffers foot injury
      Mar 2022: foot injury
      June 2022: hamstring injury
      Sep 2022: leg injury
      Nov 2022: leg injury
      Is it Berhalter’s fault that of the last 36 NT matches (not counting camp cupcakes) Richards was injured for 28 of them.

      Reply
    • “and even longer on richards, due to unfortunate gambler’s ideas of “club form” that seek out perceived “streaks” and in practice favor players signing at easier clubs who see the field faster and can claim “club form” sooner”

      Arrant nonsense.

      You’re so in love with your “club form” theory that you’ll point to a pig and say if it quack’s like a duck it must be an elephant.

      As JR pointed out, Chris Richards was mostly out of form or hurt for most of the time that Gregg might have wanted to fit him in.

      Even so , had Chris been able to play at all in Qatar Gregg would have brought him along anyway. Chris is just one of those players.

      After all Gregg brought a just barely healthy and fit Gio to Qatar. Gregg also brought a bunch of other borderline fitness cases but he did not have much choice in the matter and it’s one reason why they ran out of steam at the end.

      Reply

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