Major League Soccer

Johnny Russell insists confidence has never been an issue after another SKC goal

Chris Smith
Russell has scored seven goals in his last six MLS appearances.
Russell has scored seven goals in his last six MLS appearances. / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell says his confidence was just as high earlier in the season as it is now during his current run of form.

The Scottish winger failed to score in his first 11 appearances of the season, putting just three assists against his name.

But since then, Russell has found the net 11 times in 15 appearances, including at least once in each of his last six games - becoming the first player in SKC history to do so.

His latest strike proved to be a mere consolation as SKC fell to a 2-1 defeat to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday. Speaking to reporters after the match, Russell revealed confidence has never been an issue for him.

"I always feel like that, even at the beginning of the season when I wasn't scoring goals," the 31-year-old said. "I'm confident in myself. I feel dangerous. I've been on good goal-scoring form recently."

Even so, Russell would trade all his goals if it meant SKC could "win every game".

"If I don't score a goal for the rest of the year and we win every game then I really don't care," he added. "The team comes first. It's nice to help out with goals. That's my job. But at the end of the day, us as a whole is more important than me scoring goals."

It's not the first time SKC have fallen to a disappointing result after a break in play this season - a 2-1 defeat at home to the Seattle Sounders came after an 11-day break and seriously damaged Kansas City's chances of topping the Western Conference.

Russell urged his teammates to cut out "sloppy" errors before the start of the playoffs, where there are no second chances.

"We just need to stop being so sloppy," he added. "Every game after a break, we've started so poorly. We're just continuously giving ourselves way too much to do. I have no idea why or what it is.

But it's something that we're going to have to fix because everyone knows in the playoffs, if you make mistakes like that, you're done. We're in no position to be able to afford to do that again."

SKC travel to Seattle on Saturday in what is a must-win game if they're to have any chance of finishing top of the West.