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Why did USMNT star Chris Richards leave Bayern Munich for Crystal Palace? Defender explains 2022 transfer

15:02 GMT 22/01/2023
Chris Richards Crystal Palace 2022-23
United States international Chris Richards has explained why he took the decision to leave Bayern Munich for Crystal Palace in the summer of 2022.
  • Youngster enjoyed time in Germany
  • Took in many important lessons
  • Embraced Premier League challenge

WHAT HAPPENED? The 22-year-old defender first linked up with Bundesliga heavyweights in 2018, having caught the eye with MLS outfit FC Dallas, and would go on to take in 10 competitive appearances for the German giants. With competition for places fierce at the Allianz Arena, Richards opted to take on a Premier League challenge when Palace came calling and put an £11 million ($14m) deal in place.

WHAT THEY SAID: USMNT star Richards has told South London Press of his switch to England: “At Bayern you’re expected to win every game – you’re expected to be at 100 percent all the time. I’m not saying here you’re not. But it’s just a matter of bringing what I’ve learned from Bayern and then trying to bring it here and not just improve my mentality but also improve the team’s mentality with giving 100 percent every day. The Premier League is the best league in the world. I feel like I did really well in the Bundesliga and enough to draw attention from Palace. I figured why not test myself in the best league possible in order to become the best player possible? That was the thinking behind my move here.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Richards has been catching the eye of late – making his first Premier League start for Palace in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United – with the frustration of missing out on the 2022 World Cup finals through injury being put to one side. Richards added on picking up an untimely hamstring problem in September: “I became healthy right towards the end of the group stages [of the World Cup]. I wouldn’t have been able to give 100 percent to the team. As selfish as I wanted to be with going, I had to put my pride aside and let the boys go. It was mixed emotions because I wanted to be there so bad. It was very disappointing. It’s something I’ve looked forward to ever since I was young. On the one hand, it was a little bit sad. But it was these guys who I built great relationships with, and they were playing for our nation. So, in that sense, I was a great supporter. I’m looking forward to 2026 [USA, Mexico and Canada] now.”

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Richards, who has eight international caps to his name, is now up to seven appearances for Palace and will be hoping to retain his starting berth when the Eagles face United again – this time at Old Trafford – on February 4.