USMNT center back Chris Richards continues his rise in the Premier League after being voted Crystal Palace’s Player of the Month for January
Up-and-coming United States center back Chris Richards continued his rapid rise in the Premier League by picking up Crystal Palace’s Player of the Month award for January.
Richards, 22, joined the Eagles in the summer of 2022 but has struggled to earn a starting spot in the first half of this season.
He also missed the World Cup in Qatar through injury, and looked set to be in south London until Joachim Andersen’s injury earlier this month.
Chris Richards (right) walks off the field after Crystal Palace’s draw against Manchester United
Richards (right) shines for the Eagles after earning himself a place in the starting XI
Richards was given the chance to prove himself in the center of defense and quickly rose to prominence, starting against Manchester United and Newcastle in Palace’s last two games.
Despite appearing in only two of the team’s five games, he was awarded Player of the Month, playing 90 minutes in both games – which ended in draws.
Speaking on Palace TV about the award, he said: ‘My first two starts this month, it means a lot for the fans to vote me Player of the Month.
‘I was a bit nervous when I first started against a team like Man Utd in the form they are in, but I think I did really well and held my own.
Richards is now hoping that his good club form will help him secure a place in the USMNT starting XI
‘Good to learn [Marc Guehi], even though we are the same age, he seems to have a lot of experience under his belt. It was good to learn from him and play next to him and strengthen our relationship.
‘[The Premier League is] competitive. Every team has top players, bottom of the league or top. It’s just about bringing our A game every time and being focused for 90-plus [minutes].’
Richards secured 53.9 per cent of the vote, ahead of Michael Olise – despite the fellow youngster’s last-minute equalizer against United.
The Alabama-born defender is now hoping he can keep his place in the Palace defense and earn a starting spot for the USMNT in the coming months.