Sporting Kansas City announced today that the club has re-signed captain and forward Johnny Russell to a new contract through 2023 with an option for 2024.
Russell has enjoyed a phenomenal stint at Sporting since joining the club in 2018, recording 35 goals and 37 assists with starts in 100 of 120 appearances across all competitions. His influential displays have helped Sporting finish atop the Western Conference standings in 2018 and 2020, with the club now in contention to secure first place for the third time in four seasons.
One of two MLS players with 30 goals and 30 assists in the regular season since 2018, Russell occupies seventh place on the club's all-time charts for goals (33) and assists (30) in the regular season. He has become the fifth player in Kansas City history to notch 30 of each in MLS alongside Preki, Chris Klein, Davy Arnaud and Benny Feilhaber. According to Opta, his 184 chances created and 171 dribbles completed both rank in the top five among MLS forwards dating back to 2018.
Russell has caught fire in recent weeks for a Sporting side that currently occupies second place in the West, two points behind Seattle Sounders FC. The 31-year-old Scottish winger has scored in four consecutive regular season appearances, the fifth player to do so in Kansas City history and the longest active scoring streak in MLS. Now in his first season as the club's captain, he is one of only five MLS players with eight goals and seven assists this year.
Arriving in Kansas City in January 2018 after spending the first 12 years of his professional career in England and Scotland, Russell made an immediate impact for Sporting at the MLS level. The 2018 campaign saw him become the fourth Kansas City player to hit 10 goals and 10 assists in a single regular season as he finished the year with 12 goals and 13 assists in all competitions, earning team Offensive Player of the Year accolades. Sporting ended the year with 62 points the regular season, second-most in team history, and came within one game of MLS Cup as they reached the Western Conference Championship.
Russell was again named Sporting's Offensive Player of the Year in 2019, tallying nine goals and 11 assists and helping the team advance to the semifinals of the Concacaf Champions League for the first time ever.
During a shortened 2020 campaign, Russell was the only player to appear in all 25 matches for Sporting across all competitions and added six goals and six assists, receiving team Most Valuable Player honors for the first time. His contributions helped Sporting set a club regular season record with 1.86 points per game and a 12-6-3 record, with Manager Peter Vermes' side wrapping up the No. 1 seed in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Russell and Sporting will continue their race for first place on Sunday when rivals Houston Dynamo FC visit Children's Mercy Park. The contest will kick off at 3 p.m. CT sharp and tickets remain available at SeatGeek.com. The match, which kicks off a critical five-game slate for Sporting in October, has been picked up for a national television audience on UniMas and TUDN in addition to local coverage on Bally Sports KC Plus, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.