On the heels of Botond Barath and Krisztian Nemeth getting called up for Hungary, Johnny Russell has gotten the call from Scotland.
Russell will join his Scottish teammates for two games as a part of UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying. On Thursday, March 21st Scotland will take on Kazakhstan. Then on Sunday, March 24th they will battle San Marino.
As mentioned in the Nemeth/Barath call-up piece, UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying will run all the way until November 2019. While these two games shouldn’t conflict with the Sporting Kansas City games on March 17th at Colorado Rapids and home on March 30th against the Montreal Impact, later games in the season are likely to be impacted, especially with the newly condensed Major League Soccer season.
Scotland has definitely been drawn into an easier group than Hungary. In addition to Kazakhstan and San Marino, Scotland are grouped with Cyprus, Russia and European powerhouse Belgium. Scotland was drawn into one of the qualifying groups that have six teams instead of five, so that does add a layer of complexity as only two teams from each group qualify. Belgium and Russia have to be seen as the favorites.
For more on UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying, check out the Wikipedia page which breaks it down quite well.
UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying will be the main source of Scotland games this season as the UEFA Nations League will not resume until 2020. Scotland earned promotion from Group C to Group B last year on the final match-day with a win over Israel. More on that tournament next year, especially if SKC’s Russell continues to get the call.