Sporting Kansas City (13-6-7, 46 points) were displaced at the summit of the Western Conference following a 2-1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC (14-5-6, 48 points) on Sunday night at Children's Mercy Park.
Captain Johnny Russell’s rich vein of form continued as he found the back of the net in the second half, but the Sounders emerged victorious with goals on either side of halftime from Cristian Roldan and Will Bruin to leapfrog Sporting for the top spot in the West. The result snaps Seattle's six-game winless skid at Children's Mercy Park and gives the Sounders their first win in Kansas City since 2013.
Fortunately for Manager Peter Vermes’ men, an opportunity to bounce back quickly will present itself Wednesday when Sporting travels to face FC Dallas in a 7 p.m. CT kickoff at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The contest will be shown live on Bally Sports Kansas City Plus, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, BallySports.com and the Bally Sports app while also airing live on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.
But before we cast an anticipatory eye on the midweek fixture, we would be remiss not to recognize the notable feather that Russell added to his cap on Sunday.
The Scottish winger slotted home in the 60th minute, cutting Seattle’s deficit in half and setting the stage for a tense final half hour at Children’s Mercy Park. By doing so, he became just the fifth Sporting player in club history to score in four consecutive regular season home appearances.
Russell is the second player on Sporting’s current roster to manage the feat, as fellow forward Daniel Salloi struck in four straight home games from June 12 to July 21 of this year. The all-time record belongs to Sporting Legend Preki, who scored in seven successive regular season home matches during the club’s inaugural 1996 campaign.
Behind Preki, striker Scott Sealy and MLS veteran Jacob Peterson—the latter of whom is now Sporting’s color commentator on Bally Sports Kansas City—tallied in five straight home matches in 2006 and 2016, respectively.
SPORTING KC: LONGEST HOME SCORING STREAKS
(MLS REGULAR SEASON, ALL-TIME)
- 7 matches | Preki | 05/02/1996 to 07/06/1996
- 5 matches | Scott Sealy | 08/12/2006 to 09/30/2006
- 5 matches | Jacob Peterson | 07/24/2016 to 09/09/2016
- 4 matches | Preki | 07/20/1996 to 08/15/1996
- 4 matches | Daniel Salloi | 06/12/2021 to 07/21/2021
- 4 matches | Johnny Russell | 08/28/2021 to 09/26/2021
Russell has hit full stride since the turn of July, notching seven goals and four assists in his last dozen league appearances to become just the second MLS player since the start of 2018 to hit 30 goals and 30 assists in the regular season. In 2021 specifically, Russell is one of only five MLS players with seven goals and seven assists.
PLAYERS WITH SEVEN GOALS + SEVEN ASSISTS
(2021 MLS REGULAR SEASON)
- Valentin Castellanos | New York City FC | 13 goals, 7 assists
- Hany Mukhtar | Nashville SC | 12 goals, 9 assists
- Nani | Orlando City SC | 9 goals, 7 assists
- Albert Rusnak | Real Salt Lake | 7 goals, 9 assists
- Johnny Russell | Sporting KC | 7 goals, 7 assists