Scotsman Johnny Russell
is quickly becoming a legend in Kansas City.
On Friday night, all he did was score three goals in the first 48 minutes, earn a penalty kick and get two
Vancouver players sent off during an altercation at the end of the first half.
Sporting KC cruised to a 6-0 win over the Whitecaps to tie a club record for the largest margin of victory
in club history. It would have set the record by Ilie Sanchez
had his penalty kick following the foul by Marcel de Jong
on Russell in the area saved by Vancouver goalkeeper Stefan
Head coach Peter Vermes
' reaction to Russell's performance? "He's starting
to like this place, and that's a good thing."
Russell scored twice in the first 16 minutes and finished off his hat trick when he lobbed Martinovic from a tight angle in the 48th minute.
The 28-year-old winger wasn't a one-man show, though. Jimmy Medranda
showed a golazo in the 30th minute to make the score 3-0, and Spaniard Cristian Lobato
also got into act with their first goals of the season for Sporting KC, which opened up a seven-point lead in the Western Conference and extended its unbeaten streak to seven
games after a defeat in its opening game.
The match was already out of hand when Sporting KC midfielders Yordy Reyna
and Efrain Juarez
were handed straight red cards in the
40th minute. Russell received a yellow card when he ran over to shove Vancouver captain Kendall Waston
after the Costa Rican tackled Roger Espinoza
and yelled at the Honduran on
the ground. Juarez and Reyna got tossed for retaliating.
"He's been great for us," Espinoza said of his protector, "and I hope he keeps going with his streak."
now has five goals and two assists since arriving from Derby County, exited the game to a standing ovation.
"He's getting his rhythm so it's good," added Vermes. "He was excellent
tonight. But I have to say the team was very good and really locked in from the start of the game."