Chris Richards scores his first USMNT goal in CONCACAF Nations League final
The United States men’s national team could not have dreamed a better start to the CONCACAF Nations League final on Sunday night.
Center-back Chris Richards grabbed the game’s opening goal — the first of his international career — to nod the USMNT in front of Canada at Allegiant Stadium. The US capitalized fully on an encouraging start in its quest to retain the Nations League title it won in 2021.
Richards from Reyna
Gio Reyna — whose USMNT future could soon be under the microscope — stepped up to make his case once again as one of the country’s fundamental players. His set piece delivery met Richards‘ head perfeclty, and the defender snuck through the Canada defense to beat goalkeeper Milan Borjan with a bulleted effort.
This has been a moment in the making for Richards, who capped his 10th appearance for the USMNT with a goal — after missing the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar with a leg injury. The former Bayern Munich defender was expected to play a huge role in the tournament, but may have to settle for consecutive CONCACAF Nations League crowns instead.
Richards’ career path
Richards‘ road to USMNT stardom has taken him from Alabama to Germany, and from Dallas to London.
The Birmingham native joined the FC Dallas academy in 2017, but he wasn’t there long. He quickly joined FC Bayern on loan before joining fellow Bundesliga side Hoffenheim on loan.
The 23-year-old’s performances in Germany were impressive enough to attract Premier League attention, and Richards joined Crystal Palace last summer for $13 million. He made nine appearances during his injury-plagued 2022/23 season, including four starts.