'If we need him he’ll be ready' - U.S. youngster Richards impressing in first-team chances with Bayern

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Josef Bollwein - Sepa Media
On loan from F.C. Dallas, the defender earned praise from Niko Kovac for his showings in the International Champions Cup

Chris Richards continued his whirlwind stint with Bayern Munich’s first team on Wednesday, playing 45 minutes in the club's 2-0 loss to Juventus in International Champions Cup action at Lincoln Financial Field.

The 18-year-old Alabama-born defender, who is on loan to Bayern Munich’s U-19 team, played in his second straight preseason match with the German giant's first team, following up his cameo against Paris Saint-Germain last week with a steady second-half shift alongside David Alaba in Bayern’s central defense.

“He’s a very talented player," Bayern manager Niko Kovac said of Richards on Wednesday.

“He’s great in training and he also played a great two games. He has to work a lot, I said that yesterday as well, however he will get the time (to develop) and I do know that if we need him he’ll be ready to go.”

Richards showed his passing touch and athleticism, looking very confident as he helped keep Juventus off the scoreboard during his 45-minute shift.

“I felt good, and more comfortable with the guys," Richards told Goal. “I got some minutes under my belt against PSG, so I had a better feel for how the guys play.

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“I knew when I would be coming in, and I knew the score so I knew what I had to do and what not to do to try and get the result.”

Richards has benefited from the absence of Bayern central defenders Jerome Boateng and Niklas Sule, who have still been on their post-World Cup breaks. That central defender void led Bayern to bring Richards to preseason even though his loan move from FC Dallas was supposed to land him with Bayern’s U-19 team.

With Javi Martinez having suffered a leg injury on Wednesday, Richards could be given another opportunity to play with, and potentially start for, Bayern’s first team when the German champions face Manchester City on Saturday in Miami.

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