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Johnny Russell named to Scotland’s Nations League roster

Sporting KC’s star winger will leave in the middle of the playoffs for national duty, but shouldn’t have to miss any time.

Scotland v Belgium - International Friendly Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The Scotland National Team has once again selected SKC’s Johnny Russell for their upcoming UEFA Nations League matches on Nov. 17 & 20. But the fiery winger won’t be leaving until after Sunday’s 2nd leg playoff match with Real Salt Lake.

After vowing to never turn down his country when they call, Russell will have a busy finish to his season. Scotland are in the midst of the Nations League group stage where they sit in 2nd place behind Isreal and ahead of Albania. Scotland are in a decent spot to catch Isreal and claim the top of group, which would mean promotion to League B. The match with Isreal on November 20th in Glasgow will decide their fate. However it is possible they can fall behind Algeria and be relegated League D.

Here is the full lineup:

Russell was largely ignored by the Scottish for the eight years as he played for Derby County in the English Championship, but his move across the pond to MLS and Sporting Kansas City has changed that entirely. He has just eight caps his whole career, but four of those have come since June with Russell establishing himself as a key figure in the lineup.

Should Sporting KC advance to the Western Conference Championship on Sunday, Russell should in theory be available. The first leg will be played on November 25, giving him five days after the Nations League match for travel and recovery.