Johnny Russell reaches verbal agreement for Sporting KC extension

Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell reacts to a play during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Seattle Sounders, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Kansas City, Kan. (AP Photo/Nick Tre. Smith)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — After a tough loss at home to Western Conference rivals the Seattle Sounders, Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes confirmed the club had reached a verbal agreement with winger and captain Johnny Russell to extend his contract.

“He didn’t sign it but we’ve agreed verbally to terms,” Vermes said. “If all goes well, we’ll sign that this week.”

Russell scored in SKC’s 2-1 loss as the two teams battle out for the top position in the conference.

The Scotsman said the deal has been in the works for some time, but the team’s busy schedule has not allowed for time to sit down and talk it over.

“I don’t think it’s anyone best interests to talk about that in preparation for games. We had a bit of a break and, like I said, it’s been spoken about for a while but it moved pretty fast this week,” Russell said. “I’m delighted to be here. I’ve said plenty of times that I want to extend my stay here. To do that is massive for me.”

Russell was announced as captain of Sporting KC this season after the departure of long time captain and hometown hero Matt Besler.

In four years in Kansas City, Russell has played in 102 matches, scored 32 goals and assisted on 30 more.

Despite his goal and step forward in his contract extension talks, the Scot says it is not time to celebrate.

“Obviously, I’m not really in a celebrating mood tonight but I’m delighted to extend my stay here and keep pushing to what the ultimate goal is and that’s winning,” Russell said.

Sporting will end September with a midweek road match at FC Dallas as they continue their fight to remain atop the Western Conference.

The club will return to Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday, October 3 to take on the Houston Dynamo.

They will visit Seattle for the third game in their season series on October 23.

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