Major League Soccer

Johnny Russell to sign Sporting Kansas City contract extension

Chris Smith
Russell has seven goals and six assists to his name so far in 2021.
Russell has seven goals and six assists to his name so far in 2021. / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell is set to sign a two-year contract extension with the club.

Since arriving from Derby County in 2018, the Scotland international has been an integral part of Peter Vermes' squad. To date, Russell has notched 33 goals and 29 assists in 118 appearances for SKC across all competitions.

Russell scored SKC's only goal in a 2-1 defeat to the Seattle Sounders on Sunday night, continuing his fine form in the 2021 season. The 31-year-old's current deal expires in December, so fans were understandably nervous regarding his future.

But speaking to reporters after Sunday's match, both Vermes and Russell were able to confirm a new deal had been verbally agreed and that it would be finalised in the coming days.

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

Russell spoke of his 'delight' to remain at Children's Mercy Park.

"It's been spoken about for a little while," he said. "We had too many games recently for any chance to really sit down and talk. It wasn't the right time. I don't think it's anyone's 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.

"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. 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."

SKC's defeat leaves them second in the Western Conference, though they remain just two points behind the Sounders.

Up next for Vermes' men is a trip to FC Dallas on Wednesday before they host the Houston Dynamo next weekend.