Bayern Munich will welcome two young talents from FC Dallas in line with the partnership that saw the two clubs join forces at youth academy level earlier this year in an attempt to unearth the next American soccer star.
Highly rated defender Chris Richards and promising midfielder Thomas Roberts will spend 10 days with the Bundesliga champions as part of their agreement with the Major League Soccer outfit, which will see some of the brightest talents from either side of the pond given a chance to experience football outside of their comfort zone.
"This is a phenomenal opportunity for Chris and Thomas," said FC Dallas President Dan Hunt. "Both of these players have bright futures and this experience with FC Bayern will give them great exposure to the sport on a global scale."
.@FCDallas Homegrown players Chris Richards and Academy midfielder Thomas Roberts will spend 10 days in Munich to train as part of our partnership.— FC Bayern US (@FCBayernUS) April 30, 2018
➡️ https://t.co/fJgogAtnEc pic.twitter.com/00ESOYv0Pn
Richards, 18, joined the FC Dallas Academy last year, and is a regular in the club's Under-19 team. He was even invited to US Soccer's Men's YNT Summit Camp for the U19 national team in Florida in January.
Roberts, 17, has been at the Academy since the 2015/16 campaign, starting in the Under-14 side and working his way up to the Under-19 team for the current season.
The pair follow in the footsteps of USA youth internationals Bryan Reynolds, Reggie Cannon and Paxton Pomykal, who attended a 10-day session at Bayern’s state-of-the-art training centre at Säbener Straße last December.
“This is a unique alliance between two historic teams at the forefront of youth development,” Bayern’s President of the Americas, Rudolf Vidal – no relation to current first-team star Arturo – told fcbayern.com when the agreement was made public.
“We’re proud to announce this partnership with FC Dallas, who have pioneered professional soccer in the U.S. Working with them at this elite level will complement the extensive grassroots infrastructure we have helped create over the last few years in North America.”
The clubs will also exchange coaching expertise as well as personnel. Twenty-two youth academy players now feature in Dallas’ senior squad – the highest proportion in the MLS - while Bayern currently boast Thomas Müller, David Alaba, Mats Hummels and Sandro Wagner as first-team regulars who graduated from their youth academy.