United States men’s national team defender Chris Richards had a heart-in-mouth moment on Wednesday when he was shown the first red card of his career. Thankfully for the 23-year-old the red card was immediately rescinded.
During Crystal Palace’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea the American defender — who plays a defensive midfielder role for Palace — took one for the team and committed a foul to halt a counterattack.
In the 73rd minute Noni Madueke had successfully dribbled past Richards and the USMNT player tried to pull on the Chelsea forward’s shirt to slow him down.
When that was unsuccessful Richards finally brought Madueke down with a tackle near midfield.
Referee Michael Salisbury immediately reached for a card but didn’t realize what color he was holding.
Accidental Chris Richards red card vs. Chelsea
The ref gave Chris Richards a red by accident and then switched it to a yellow pic.twitter.com/GvvCaBrrVt— USMNT Only (@usmntonly) December 27, 2023
Salisbury quickly switched the color of Richards’ booking and had a quick laugh. An incident like this can happen every now and again.
This same blooper even happened to the great Ronaldinho back in the day.
Crystal Palace evaded going down a man but couldn’t avoid defeat as a late Madueke penalty sealed the victory for Chelsea.
While current results haven’t looked great for Palace — no EPL wins in their last eight games — Richards has finally been getting playing time with the club.
He plays center back for the USMNT but has been converted into a defensive midfielder for Crystal Palace playing the full 90 minutes in the last six EPL games.
Richards has shown promise in the role and helped set up Palace’s goal vs. Chelsea with a crunching tackle to win back possession.
CHRIS RICHARDS TACKLE IN SLOMO. GOING TO WATCH THIS ON A LOOP UNTIL NEW YEARS EVE. pic.twitter.com/cRxQ7H6N0E— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) December 27, 2023
Michael Olise brings Crystal Palace level at Stamford Bridge!
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 27, 2023
If Richards keeps performing like this, and avoiding red cards, then Palace will surely record a league victory soon.