Chris Richards and Justin Che have more than Hoffenheim's meeting with Arminia Bielefeld to look forward to this weekend. Like millions of Americans worldwide, the Texan duo are full-on psyched for Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals.
"Everybody probably knows the Super Bowl is the biggest event in the US," Bayern Munich loanee Richards told bundesliga.com. "Whether it’s the half-time show, when they bring in some crazy guests, or the game in general, I think it's a big part of American culture."
"I personally think the Rams will win, but this season the Bengals are on a little fire streak," he opined. "So I think's gonna be a good game, a pretty even game."
Richards went on to draw parallels between Hoffenheim - one of the the 2021/22 Bundesliga season's surprise candidates for a top-four finish - and Super Bowl underdogs Cincinnati.
"I guess they compare to Hoffenheim in some way," the six-time USMNT defender explained. "They bring a lot of guys to big clubs around the world. You can make that comparison for sure."
Incidentally, Hoffenheim have a player partnership agreement in place with soccer club FC Cincinnati. It was a similar arrangement that brought Richards and, more recently, Che from FC Dallas, via Bayern, to Hoffenheim.
Watch: Justin Che - The Bundesliga's next FC Dallas graduate
Suffice to say neither player has looked back since crossing the pond for the Bundesliga promised land.
"The Bundesliga is a league that I've always dreamed to play in, and now I'm working on that and say I've achieved one of my big dreams," Che enthused.
"It's been amazing," chimed in Richards, three years Che’s senior at 21. "A lot of hard work, a continuous battle every week, and something I'm really looking forward to. I'm happy I made this step in my career."
Watch: Chris Richards - Hoffenheim home-from-home
An ambitious defender with 32 Bundesliga appearances under his belt since debuting for Bayern in June 2020, Richards is also something of an ideas man.
"If the Bundesliga starts [having half-time shows], just know it came from me first," he said with a smile.
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