Richards situation isn't a reflection of his standing. Post-COVID reopening, Berhalter involved him immediately. Called him up to both Euro-based camps, and played him in the 3/4ths of those games. He had a hamstring injury that kept him out all summer for those tournaments. After returning from injury, he was in a bit of a transfer window limbo. After not playing in the summer, he didn't start a game in Germany until weeks after the squad announcement for the September window. We didn't expect him to be called up, and he wasn't. He was, however, then called up for the October window. And Berhalter subsequently played him in 5 of 6 games in the middle of the qualification cycle. That included his first ever start for the USMNT, which was the home qualifier against Costa Rica! That was one helluva vote of confidence. Then he got hurt again, so missed the end of the qualifying cycle. What I'm trying to say is that when Richards has been available, Berhalter has called him up and used him. Brooks is a different matter.