NEW YORK – Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell was voted the Major League Soccer player of the week by the North American Soccer Reporters for the eighth week of the season Tuesday.
Sporting KC extended its season-best unbeaten streak to seven matches with a 6-0 home victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC Friday, with Russell recording a hat-trick. In eight starts this season, the 28-year-old Russell ranks tied for second in the league with five goals to go along with his two assists. SKC sits atop the Western Conference and is tied for the most points (17) in the league with a 5-1-2 record.
The Scotland international gave Sporting KC an advantage in the 10thminute. Receiving a pass from Roger Espinoza at the top of the box, Russell launched a right-footed shot between the defender’s legs to the left side of goal to beat goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic far post (Watch Goal). Russell lifted SKC into a 2-0 lead in the 16thminute with an impressive run into the box, outmaneuvering a defender with a myriad of moves before beating the keeper with a right-footed shot that snuck inside the near post (Watch Goal).
Russell capped a career day with his third goal in the 48th minute to give SKC a 4-0 advantage. Matt Besler sent a pass into the right side of the box, with Russell collecting the ball along the goal line and sending a chip shot over Marinovic into the left side of the net (Watch Goal). Sporting KC scored two more goals in the second half to complete tje wom.
Sporting Kansas City returns to action on Saturday to face the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+).
The Alcatel MLS Player of the Week is chosen each week of the regular season by members of the North American Soccer Reporters. The organization includes print, television, radio and online journalists who cover domestic men’s soccer in the United States and Canada.