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Global Sep 03, 2019

USA defender Chris Richards identified among top prospects from 2019 U-20 World Cup

U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team defender and FC Bayern Munich prospect Chris Richards is featured on the list of 10 top performers from the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.

The list is compiled by the FIFA Technical Study Group (TSG), which has presented its main conclusions from the FIFA U‑20 World Cup Poland 2019 in a 136-page report, which is now available on FIFA.com.

Richards, 19, is an FC Dallas Academy product who signed to play with FC Bayern’s U-19 Academy squad in 2018, and has since played several games with the German club’s second team.

He started all five games for the USA at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and played the full 90 minutes in every game but one. Richards is featured by FIFA in a ‘Raise to Prominence’ video, highlighting the top prospect’s standout play at the U-20 World Cup.

More on the FIFA Technical Study Group (TSG) Report: The TSG’s report includes a tournament technical summary highlighting, among others, how ball possession was not key to success as confirmed by the fact that champions Ukraine had an average of 44%, a trend that was also identified at the 2018 FIFA World Cup™.

The report also contains in-depth interviews with the coaches of the semi‑finalists, exclusive tactical footage, detailed performance metrics, and a list of ten players who, according to the TSG experts, particularly caught the eye in Poland: Lee Kangin (Korea Republic – winner of the adidas Golden Ball award), Chris Richards (USA), Andriy Lunin (Ukraine – winner of the adidas Golden Glove award), Alessandro Plizarri (Italy), Serhii Buletsa (Ukraine – winner of the adidas Silver Ball award), Sékou Koïta (Mali), Yukhym Konoplia (Ukraine), Valerii Bondar (Ukraine), Gonzalo Plata (Ecuador – winner of the adidas Bronze Ball award) and Amadou Sagna (Senegal – winner of the adidas Bronze Boot).

“The FIFA U-20 World Cup was very impressive in terms of both individual and collective quality. In fact, the efficiency-driven approach exhibited by the majority of teams was only possible due to the presence of players who were able to trigger quick transitions by playing clinical balls in behind the defence. There was a lot of tactical awareness too, which confirms that we are talking about very mature players that can make an impression at the highest level,” says Branimir Ujevic, FIFA’s Head of Coaching & Player Development.

Led by Ujevic, the TSG team for the U-20 World Cup in Poland featured Portugal legend Fernando Couto and Croatian coach Ivo Šušak, supported by FIFA’s Goalkeeping Specialist Pascal Zuberbuhler, Performance & Game Analyst Chris Loxston and TSG Coordinator and former Swiss women’s national team captain Prisca Steinegger.