USMNT defender Richards sees Alaba & Gnabry's Hoffenheim loan examples as springboard to Bayern success

Chris Richards Hoffenheim Serge Gnabry David Alaba Bayern MunichGetty/Goal

Chris Richards is looking to follow in the footsteps of David Alaba and Serge Gnabry by using his loan at Hoffenheim as a springboard to success at Bayern Munich.

The American defender, 20, joined Sebastian Hoeness’ Hoffenheim on loan in the January transfer window, playing three times in the Bundesliga and Europa League so far.

Alaba, who is coming towards the end of his long-term spell in Munich, showed his worth in the Bundesliga on loan at Hoffenheim in 2011, with winger Gnabry enjoying a productive spell there in 2017-18.

What has been said?

Asked if the pair’s success influenced his decision to move there, Richards told the Bundesliga’s official channel: “Yes, it definitely did.

“Growing up watching their story and hearing their experiences personally from them has really been inspirational for me. That was one of the reasons I decided to come here.

“I feel good. I’ve played a few games and some important games, so it has been really good to get 90 minutes under my legs for a few weeks. It has been really nice.”

Why are there so many Americans in the Bundesliga?

Richards is far from the only USMNT representative in the Bundesliga right now.

Giovanni Reyna, Tyler Adams, John Brooks, Josh Sargent and rising Schalke star Matthew Hoppe are just a small sample, and Richards believes German clubs have been smart to recognise the untapped well of talent in American soccer.

“I think it all started with Christian Pulisic," he added. "I think a lot of Americans saw that us Americans can be productive and successful here in Germany and I think after Christian, it allowed Bundesliga coaches and management to realise that the US has a lot of untapped potential and I think they are starting to use it now.

Article continues below

“It’s kind of just this fight we have in us Americans, we always want to be the hardest working people - we want to show people, they always count us out early, especially in football.

“Not just me, but this whole new generation of footballers we have, we are kind of turning the tide on that perception of us.”

Further reading