Bayern Munich and USA defender Chris Richards is eyeing further first-team opportunities with Hoffenheim. - © imago
Bayern Munich and USA defender Chris Richards is eyeing further first-team opportunities with Hoffenheim. - © imago
bundesliga

Bayern Munich loan US defender Chris Richards to Hoffenheim

USA defender Chris Richards has swapped Bayern Munich for Bundesliga rivals Hoffenheim on a six-month loan deal until the end of the 2020/21 season.

Richards, 20, made four Bundesliga appearances during the Hinrunde, but began the new year back with the reserves whom he helped win the 3. Liga title under current Hoffenheim head coach Sebastian Hoeneß last term.

"Chris is a good tackler and a very quick defender who has had playing time despite outstanding competition in the Bayern squad," said TSG director of football Alexander Rosen, who went on to describe Richards as an "important and valuable option in the centre-back position" considering the club's injury problems there.

For his part, Richards is hoping to make a similar first impression with Hoffenheim as he did at Bayern.

The Alabama native spent 10 days training in Munich in May 2018 as part of a partnership agreement with MLS outfit FC Dallas, before being offered a one-year loan deal. He continued to shine, and his stay became a permanent one in January 2019, when he was handed a long-term contract through to June 2023.

Watch: Bayern, Chris Richards and the Dallas connection

Richards has since made eight appearances for the Bayern first team, including three in the UEFA Champions League, and 38 for the reserves along with his 29 for the U19s. He earned his first USMNT cap in a November 2020 friendly against Panama.

"I'm looking to taking the next step in my development at Hoffenheim," Richards said. "It's important I now get more match practice in the Bundesliga. I've got big goals and would like to recommend myself further at Bayern."

Current Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeneß (l.) handed Richards (r.) 30 starts during Bayern II's 3. Liga title-winning campaign. - imago

Richards' preferred position is in the centre of defence, but he has played at right- and left-back for Bayern. He is expected to go straight into the Hoffenheim squad to face Eintracht Frankfurt on Bundesliga Matchday 20.