Russell’s late goal lifts Sporting KC into first place

By The Associated Press
Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell, right, celebrates with teammates Graham Zusi, center, and Gerso (12) after scoring a goal against Minnesota United on a pass from Zusi during the second half Sunday at Children's Mercy Park. Sporting went on to a 1-0 win to vault back into first place in the MLS Western Conference standings.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Johnny Russell scored in the 80th minute and Sporting Kansas City beat Minnesota United 1-0 on Sunday night to take the Western Conference lead.

Minnesota (5-4-2) listed seven players not medically cleared for the match. Sporting Kansas City (6-3-2) had six on the list, including Erik Hurtado.

An unidentified player for Sporting Kansas City tested positive for COVID-19. The team said Saturday the player self-isolated upon the initial positive result and will remain in isolation until cleared by the club's medical staff. No other players and coaches were confirmed positive for the coronavirus. 

Graham Zusi lofted the ball from distance to Russell, who outran the defense and shot to the far post for his third goal of the season. Kansas City snapped a four-game winless streak and jumped past Seattle (5-3-2, 18 points) into first place in the Major Soccer League’s Western Conference with 20 points.

Dayne St. Clair had four of his five saves in the first half for Minnesota. The third-place Loons entered having scored seven goals in consecutive home wins.