Major League Soccer

Johnny Russell hails 'untouchable' Daniel Salloi after goal in Sporting KC win

Chris Smith
Russell assisted Salloi for the third time in MLS this season.
Russell assisted Salloi for the third time in MLS this season. / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Kansas City winger Johnny Russell says teammate Daniel Salloi is 'untouchable' right now after he scored his 11th goal of the season on Saturday.

The Hungarian forward has often struggled to show his best form in an SKC shirt, and across the previous two seasons managed just one goal and one assist in 43 appearances.

But in 2021, Salloi has been on a tear, notching 11 goals and five assists so far, leaving only Gustavo Bou (12) ahead of him in the Golden Boot race - while no SKC player has created more goals. Such has been his form, many are now placing Salloi at the forefront of the MLS MVP race.

Salloi's latest goal sealed a 2-0 win for SKC against FC Dallas at the weekend, firing home an emphatic effort from Russell's cross in the 63rd minute. It was the third time Russell has assisted Salloi this season, to leave SKC top of the Western Conference.

"I'm delighted as his teammate - and me and Daniel are really close - to see him back to what we all know he's capable of," Russell told reporters of Salloi after the match.

"He got a lot of stick for the last couple of years. Just look at what he's doing right now. Quite honestly, he's a little bit untouchable right now. Everything he's hitting is going in. That's what we knew was there.

"Obviously, he was disappointed with how things went but he's put all of that behind him now. He's absolutely flying and producing for us. Hopefully, that continues until the end of the season. I'm sure that it will. He's loving it right now. He's loving playing and scoring goals. Hopefully, he keeps that going and if he does, we're going to be right up there."

Salloi himself says he had a 'really good feeling' as he struck the ball, but that he was ultimately just glad to double his side's lead at a time when Dallas were piling on pressure and threatening to equalize.

"I figured Johnny was going to cross the ball so I made the movement towards the ball and the defender couldn't clear it out," said Salloi. "I was aware so I was on my toes and just tried to get it out of his legs. It felt really good hitting that ball. I'm very happy that gave us a two-goal lead. Honestly, I think we needed it."

SKC host the Portland Timbers on Wednesday before a trip to Minnesota United next weekend.