Sporting KC Show Podcast: Forward Johnny Russell catching fire at busy juncture of season

Running throughout the season on Sports Radio 810 WHB, the Sporting Kansas City Show is available on several podcast hubs including Spotify and iTunes as well as With Nate Bukaty, Carter Augustine and Aly Trost hosting the weekly program, Sporting fans have a place to go to catch up on club storylines, guest interviews and more.

With four goals in his last three matches, Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell is the man of the moment. His three-game scoring streak is tied for the longest in MLS this year, and with six goals on the season, the Scottish international has been one of the brightest sparks for a prolific Sporting offense that has yet to be shut out in 2020.

Earlier this week, Russell was the centerpiece of a new episode of the Sporting Kansas City Show with hosts Nate Bukaty, Carter Augustine and Aly Trost. In addition to sharing details about his home life—he is raising two-year-old daughter Blake and nine-month-old son Julius as Sporting KC and Celtic fans—the reflected on how it feels to be an in-form attacker.

“I want to be scoring and creating goals for the team and that’s why I was brought here. Sometimes you go through spells where things don’t fall for you. I was getting on the end of a lot of chances and just couldn’t get full contact on it—people getting their body in the way and making blocks. That’s frustrating, but I never lose confidence in myself or my team.

“I know that if I continue to get myself in those spaces and get those chances, I’m going to finish them at some point. I obviously want to do it more frequently, but it’s never a case of letting it get to me or losing confidence.”

Russell began his current scoring run by providing the lone goal in a crucial 1-0 home victory over Minnesota United FC that snapped Sporting’s four-game winless stretch. It also proved to be a catalyst for the winger, who had entered the contest with two goals in his first 10 matches of the campaign.

“That goal against Minnesota was a big goal for the team and for me,” Russell said. “It’s weird how it happens, where you go a few games and you don’t get the finish you want, but when you do, they all seem to start going in. Hopefully that’s the start of a good run for me and the team, as well.”

Despite back-to-back home losses versus FC Dallas and Orlando City SC, Russell is confident that Sporting can stay in the thick of an ultra-competitive Western Conference race.

“When you’ve got games so (frequently), you can’t let it get to you,” Russell said, referencing the club’s decisive stretch of 10 remaining fixtures over the next 43 days. “It can be a blessing when you have little time to bounce back, and we seem to do well in those situations. We’ll be looking to do that again. We’ve got another game to put it right—that’s the beauty of having another game so soon.”