Johnny Russell’s game-winner selected as Goal of the Week candidate

Sporting KC

Seattle Sounders midfielder Joao Paulo competes for the ball against Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell 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. — Sporting Kansas City winger Johnny Russell put the finishing touch on the game-winning goal against the Seattle Sounders Saturday afternoon to secure a playoff spot and put the coveted first-round bye within reach.

The goal capped off a lengthy Sporting KC possession of 38 consecutive passes including a defense-splitting pass from veteran midfielder Roger Espinoza that found the Scottish international who slotted it home for the visitors.

While Russell is credited with his seventh goal in seven consecutive games, Espinoza and the rest of the Kansas City field players were a part of the patient build up to carve open the Sounders who were on the front foot for most of the second half.

Russell’s clinical finish is up against LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget’s karate kick volley against FC Dallas; Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore’s around-the-wall free kick against CF Montreal; and San Jose Earthquakes forward Benji Kikanovic’s solidly hit volley against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

This is Russell’s second time being a finalist for Goal of the Week this season. The Scot struck a perfect free kick in a 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids on Aug. 28.

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