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SOCCER

Chris Richards injury presents a problem for the USMNT

The United States has confirmed that the defender will not be called up to the tournament because he suffered a hamstring injury.

Update:
The United States has confirmed that the defender will not be called up to the tournament because he suffered a hamstring injury.
ANDREAS GEBERTREUTERS

Bad news for the United States men’s national team because it has been confirmed that defender Chris Richards will miss the upcoming FIFA World Cup. The 22-year-old suffered a hamstring injury back in September and he will not recover in time for the start of the tournament. Richards is ‘gutted’ and confirmed the sad news through Instagram.

Gutted that this injury has ruled me out of the World Cup but I know that the boys will go crazy regardless … will be rooting for y’all the whole way. Go out and make history,” wrote Richards late on Tuesday. The Crystal Palace defender recently returned to training, but won’t be fit in time for the tournament.

The USMNT head coach, Gregg Berhalter, has praised the eight-time capped Chris Richards before. “Chris is one of our central defenders of the future. I like his development very much. I find the cooperation between Bayern and the USSF to be outstanding. Together we’re trying to develop a great player from a great talent.”

Devastating blow for the USMNT

This presents a dilemma for Berhalter, with Walker Zimmerman the only trustworthy center back heading into the start of the campaign. Chris Richards was looking like the perfect pair for Zimmerman at center back position during the World Cup following the injury of Miles Robinson.

Now the options that can play center back are Aaron Long, who has struggled, and Cameron Carter-Vickers, who is also recovering from an injury. Neither player has gotten valuable reps alongside Walker Zimmerman, leaving Berhalter to opt for his second-best option in Mark McKenzie as center back during the World Cup.

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