FC Dallas had already sent one player to a top club in a major European league, but the MLS side got one more significant move in this winter.
FCD, which sent Bryan Reynolds to Roma in a club-record transfer on deadline day, has also sent 17-year-old homegrown center back Justin Che on loan to Bayern Munich through the end of the season in Germany. It’s a similar move to the one Dallas arranged with Bayern for Chris Richards in July 2018, who secured a permanent move there six months later. Richards has been at the club ever since and has started to break through with the first team, but went out on loan to Hoffenheim ahead of the transfer deadline in order to secure more playing time.
FC Dallas and Bayern have had a partnership since 2017, and it’s one that has resulted in even more tangible outcomes for players involved.
Che was one of six Dallas players who went to Bayern for a three-week training stint last month—Edwin Cerrillo, Ricardo Pepi, Dante Sealy, Brandon Servania and Thomas Roberts were the others—and it’s expected he’ll spend time with Bayern’s youth setup. The club’s reserve team plays in Germany’s third tier, the 3. Liga. A Richardson, Texas, native, Che played last season in USL League One for North Texas SC, FC Dallas’s third-tier affiliate. He signed as a homegrown player in October 2020, inking a three-year contract with a club option for a fourth. He’s yet to feature for the first team in MLS.
“With Chris Richards, we have had excellent experiences with talent from our partner club. Justin is a young central defender with a lot of potential, as he recently showed in training. We are initially planning to have him in our U-19 squad, but Justin will also have the opportunity to prove himself in training with the amateurs. We are very excited to see how Justin will develop over the next few months,” Bayern academy director Jochen Sauer said in a statement.
Che, who first joined Dallas’s academy in 2009—when he was six—is said to have a German passport, which accelerates his ability to play for Bayern while being a minor.