2012: Russell, a veteran defender, appeared in 19 games (16 starts) for the Black-and-Red in his first season with the club. Russell played in the majority of D.C. United’s games through the middle of the season before suffering a foot injury against the Houston Dynamo on 7/15. Russell finished the season strong throughout the playoffs in the absence of Andy Najar and assisted on Nick DeLeon’s game-winner against the New York Red Bulls that put the Black-and-Red through to the Eastern Conference Finals.
2011: In his fourth campaign with Real Salt Lake, the veteran fullback enjoyed a successful 2011 MLS Regular Season in which he started 22 of the 26 matches he played, netting two assists in 1,809 minutes of action. Russell went on to play in three matches (three starts) in the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs before his team fell to eventual champion LA Galaxy.
2010: Russell started 29 of 31 appearances for RSL, tallying one goal and six assists in 2,642 minutes played across League and Cup competitions. The Ghana-born player was part of a defensive unit that led the charge in helping RSL allow only 20 goals all season, beating the previous record of 23 goals allowed set by the 2007 Houston squad. Russell’s five assists in MLS were the most in his three seasons on the Wasatch Front. Despite his strong defensive presence, Russell committed only eight fouls and was not shown a caution across his 22 MLS League appearances. He rounded out the year starting both legs of RSL’s Western Conference Semifinal series against FC Dallas.
2009: The versatile veteran plied his trade at right back, center back and holding midfield, notching two assists in 19 matches (18 starts). Russell answered the call in postseason, starting all four of RSL’s contests en route to claiming the club’s first MLS Cup crown. After a sturdy 120-minute performance on the backline, he stepped up to convert the championship-clinching spot kick in the seventh round of penalties against the LA Galaxy on 11/22, giving RSL a 5-4 shootout win and its first MLS Cup title in Seattle.
2008: Russell was one of five players with European club experience on the RSL roster after signing from Danish side Viborg FF on 7/25. He showed his versatility by playing as a fullback, right midfielder and center back during his 11 MLS regular season appearances (7 starts). Russell made his MLS debut on 7/28 with a 17-minute appearance off the bench against Toronto FC in a 2-1 win. The veteran started in two of RSL’s three MLS Cup Playoff appearances, registering two assists in 207 postseason minutes.
OTHER PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2006-2008: Played in 31 contests for Viborg FF of the Danish Superligaen (First Division) in two seasons with the club. He was a regular first-choice selection for Viborg in 2006-2007, when he played in 26 contests. However, injuries limited Russell to only five appearances during the 2007-2008 campaign.
2004-2006: Made 13 appearances in three seasons for Rosenborg BK in the Norwegian First Division. Russell became a starter at right back during the 2004 championship season, logging nine appearances in league competition and four more during UEFA Champions League, making the short list of American players competing in the prestigious competition at the time. He earned starts on 10/20 at home against PSV Eindhoven and on 11/2 on the road to PSV. Injuries and a coaching change saw his playing time decrease during the latter half of his Rosenborg stint, as he made only two league appearances in both the 2005 and 2006 Tippeligaen seasons.
2001-2004: Russell four goals in 63 league appearances for Norwegian First Division side Sogndal I.L., establishing himself as one of the Tippeligaen’s best right backs during his tenure with the club. He played five contests during the 2001 campaign, followed by 24 appearances in both the 2002 and 2003 seasons, scoring one goal each year. Russell tallied two goals during the first half of the 2004 season before being sought out by Rosenborg.
2000: Russell’s first steps into the European football scene came during an amateur stint with Icelandic First Division side Breidablik. He made 12 appearances in Iceland during the summer prior to his senior campaign at Duke.
1997-2000: Russell was a standout at Duke University, tallying 12 goals and 21 assists while starting 73 of his 75 games with the Blue Devils. A key member of the 1999 ACC Championship squad, Russell was named a Second Team All-American following his junior and senior seasons, and was also a member of All-ACC Teams during each of his four seasons in Durham, serving as team captain during two seasons.
Born in Accra, Ghana, Russell has lived in four continents (Africa, Asia, North America and Europe). He moved to the United States with his family as a teenager, settling in Amherst, Mass.
MLS CUP: 2009
Norwegian Tippeligaen (First Division): 2004
Obtained on 11/29/11 from Real Salt Lake in exchange for a 2013 MLS SuperDraft third round selection.