Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell scored his first goal for the Scotland Men's National Team one year ago today, finding the back of the net in the 74th minute of a 2-0 road win over European minnows San Marino.
Russell, a full year into his Sporting tenure at the time, finished off a flowing move to clinch a comfortable victory in Group I of UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying. With Scotland leading 1-0 in the late stages, the winger settled a low cross from James Forrest, rounded San Marino goalkeeper Elia Benedettini and fired home from from seven yards for his maiden international goal at the senior level.
Fast-forward to present day, and Scotland remain hopeful of punching their ticket to the European Championship. The quadrennial tournament has been postponed until the summer of 2021, with Russell and Scotland set to host Israel in the Path C playoff semifinals on June 4 in Glasgow. The winner will travel to meet the winner between Norway and Serbia on June 9 with a Euro berth up for grabs.
March 24 also marks the two-year anniversary of Sporting's dramatic, come-from-behind draw against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Trailing 2-0 at halftime, Manager Peter Vermes' men grabbed a goal back in the 57th minute through newcomer Felipe Gutierrez and restored parity in second-half stoppage time as Khiry Shelton laid a gorgeous backheel into the path of Diego Rubio, who made no mistake from close range.
Gutierrez went on to claim MLS Player of the Month honors for March 2018, becoming the 13th player in club history to win the award and the first since May 2015. He bagged five goals in his first month of MLS action, including three game-winners, as Sporting took their first steps toward a first-place finish in the Western Conference table.