Johnny Russell to join Scotland for UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers during October FIFA window

Johnny Russell - Scotland Men's National Team call-up DL - March 12, 2019

Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell is set to join the Scotland Men’s National Team for a pair of UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying matches later this month.

Russell and Scotland will resume their Group I campaign against Russia on Thursday, Oct. 10, visiting the site of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow for a 1:45 p.m. CT kickoff. The Scots will then return home to face Group I minnows San Marino at 11 a.m. CT on Sunday, Oct. 13, at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

Russell will join Scotland’s 25-man squad following Sporting Kansas City’s MLS regular season finale against FC Dallas on Sunday at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The Decision Day clash is set for 3 p.m. CT with live coverage on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports GO, ESPN 94.5 FM (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish).

Group I of UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying is one of 10 groups that will determine which teams participate in UEFA Euro 2020, scheduled to unfold in 12 cities across 12 different European countries next summer. Headlined by 2018 World Cup semifinalists Belgium, Group I features six teams squaring off in a home-and-away, double-round-robin format through November for a total of 10 matches. The top two finishers will advance to the quadrennial tournament.

Scotland currently occupies fifth place in the group, taking two wins and four losses from its first six matches. Even if head coach Steve Clarke's side fails to secure a top-two finish in Group I, they will have another shot at qualifying for the competition via the Euro 2020 playoffs next spring. Scotland earned a spot in the Euro 2020 playoffs via their first-place finish in Group 1 of the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League C, which also resulted in promotion to League B for the 2020-21 tournament.

Russell, 29, has earned 13 career caps at the senior level, including appearances in four of Scotland’s first six Euro qualifying matches this spring. He scored his first international goal in a 2-0 defeat of San Marino on March 24 and has made nine of his 13 Scotland appearances since joining Sporting Kansas City ahead of the 2018 season.

A native of Glasgow, Russell has made club history this year as the second player in Sporting history to record at least nine goals and nine assists in consecutive regular seasons. Named the team's Offensive Player of the Year last Friday at Pitch Black, Russell has amassed nine goals and 11 assists in all competitions after recording 12 goals and 13 assists last year.