A new story from Men In Blazers
There are things on here for the USA. Can they do it here? Cross and dead seas tonight again and Donovan is gone. Can you believe this? Go go. USA. Certainly through it's incredible. You could not write a script like this. I was ten years old at that point, you know? And that was like my very first go go USA when that happened. We went crazy, you know? And I think what hurt the most was that my brother is also ten years old and I was like, oh, this would be my chance to, for him to kind of have the same inspiration that I had when I was his age. And I think that's what was very tough for me because I remember that moment was like everything for me and it kind of I probably say push started my career or in my love for the game. And for me to miss that, it felt like I was letting him down more than myself. I can't imagine Chris. I can not imagine you would played 361 minutes of the World Cup qualifying journey, including that surreal El Salvador game in below freezing temperatures in St. Paul Minnesota, the memory of which I'm sure will stay in your bones for years to come. Can World Cup to have to watch on from home as your Friends, your teammates took the field. Did you watch? How difficult was that? Yeah, it was tough. I remember, I couldn't watch the first game. I really couldn't, of course, I wanted to support everybody, but it was one of those things where I was like, I can't. Because it hurt, you know? And my family came. My mom and dad came, kills around Thanksgiving, and so they wouldn't be with me, especially with me, not making the World Cup, and they were downstairs watching it, and I was like, I have to be up in the room. I can't sit there with you guys. I'm sorry. And then for the U.S. England game, it was a bit easier because I knew that if we had lost that I would get a bunch of crap at training the next day or whatever everybody came back, so I was like, all right, it's my chance. I'll be able to watch this with a bit of a lighter heart. And so we went to actually went to a pub when we met up with some American outlaws and it was good to be around those guys. And just kind of be able to support and have a group of people around who were also there to support, but again, it was still hard to watch. But I'd say the first game was definitely the hardest for me. Thankfully, you return to action after the World Cup break, you made your first ever Premier League start January the 18th against Manchester United, a belated start to your dreams, about 5 and a half months later, then you would ever have imagined. We are nervous ahead of the game. Do you get nervous, Chris? Yeah, I think everybody, if people say they don't get nervous, I think they're lying because all very much was nervous. And not that I was nervous in my ability. I think I was just nervous of just having this be like my first step, of course, the debut Anfield and the few appearances I made in between that were a good first step, but it was like, am I sticky notes? I was like, you know, first start in just for it to be against a team like united, which was one of the teams I grew up watching. It was like, and it made it even bigger for me. I found it very moving, Chris. What should you drop to your knees and pray right before kick-off? Can you take us into your mind in that moment? It's something I do before every game and it's, you know, it's just giving thanks to it's just giving thanks to the man up above and nobody's journey is easy, but I feel like my journey over the past few years is something that many people wouldn't have liked to have taken and many people haven't taken. And so it's one of those things where just try to reflect in those little moments before the game and let's try to just pray for guidance and for health and that whatever happens that I gave it my all and that's all I can ask for. Did you ever give you all in that game? I enjoyed that game so bloody much. You made your impact early and often. There was a tackle on Marcus Rashford, where he tried to hit you with a hesitation move, but you didn't bite instead, you jeweled like a 5 star wide receiver cornerback showdown at the Alabama spring game, would I be hyperbolic to say Chris that this? This was one of the greatest Premier League moments in Alabama history. I would like to think so. I mean, it's sick, you know, of course slip with the run that raster has been on lately. It was cool for I love seeing that stat where it's like, yeah, he scored in all of these permanently games except you know and it's like, it's really cool to, I guess, to be a part of that game, but like you said, just to kind of etch that in Alabama history or Alabama sports history in general, like it's just, it's amazing. 42nd minute, to me, knowing what you had been through, the challenges, the tenacity that it took to get to this minute. One of the most joyous moments of the year, you trap back a high-speed chase really down the Flank with Anthony. You pursued him step for step all the way down to the palace touch line, and then unfurled a perfectly timed tackle just snuffing out all danger, tell us what went through your mind because got to be honest, I was exhausted just watching yeah, so the guy was yelling at me the whole time. He was like, foul and follow him. I know I can get him. I don't want to follow him yet. And then so like you said, I'll just track them back and it was one of those things where of course everybody knows that he's a quick player, fast player, but I was like, no, I got him. Don't worry, everybody. I got him. And I made the tackle at the end and I remember people after the game saying like the crowd behind me was like going crazy, but also I couldn't hear a thing. Like I was just I was so focused on that very moment where I couldn't hear anything or anybody around me. Wayne Rooney's described it. He said like when you do similar that you can't hear a thing but then suddenly there's a thrilling second where you realize what you've done and you feel like a swimmer breaking the surface and coming up for air in game. Are you aware of what you just done? Are you in your head and you're like, oh my God, I Chris Richards from Hoover Alabama. I belong in the Premier League. Or does that only happen when you see the highlight clip after the game? No, I think in that tackle, I was like, all right, I'm here. This is it, you know? And it very much hit me after the game, but I think in that moment I was like, all right, this is what I'm here for. I've just got to keep it going. And I feel like I proved it to myself in that moment that I was supposed to be here. What happens afterwards? Do you get back to the locker room with just your phone, has all of your mates just sending that clip to you after the game? Yeah, everybody. I mean, I saw y'all's tweet like it was one of those things where I was like, did I really do that? I don't even remember that happening in the game, but I remember like all the texts and calls and tweets and it was just they went crazy and I don't know, it was weird to me because I felt like you know it was just something that I was supposed to do. It wasn't something that was extra special or something that I expected them myself so I didn't I didn't feel like it was something crazy, but then after the game I didn't realize how like I said I didn't realize the how big that moment was. Yeah, I've got to tell you it's funny you mention our tweet because it is one of the most wonderful that I have sent out this year. I even sent it to my own mother, even though it wasn't of me, I had nothing to do with it.