The Pitch: Exploring civic pride with Sporting forwards Johnny Russell and Khiry Shelton

Neither Johnny Russell nor Khiry Shelton were very familiar with Kansas City when they began their journeys at the club in early 2018. Since then, however, they have grown to love the city in which they play and become increasingly comfortable exploring everything the metropolitan area has to offer.

In a long-form feature story by Jon Johnson of The Pitch, the Scotland-born Russell and Colorado native Shelton provide a humanizing look at their lives away from Children's Mercy Park. Who are these guys and what makes them tick? How do they connect with the community and forge relationships with fans? What do they do in their free time and what does it mean to represent Sporting as relatively new residents to Kansas City?

At the end of the day, Johnson's feature is much less about goal scoring, stats and soccer accomplishments and more about the players as human beings. And it's well worth a read.