Johnathon Simpson Snedden Russell (born 8 April 1990) is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as a forward for American club Sporting Kansas City. He began his career with Dundee United before joining Derby in 2013. He has also played for Forfar Athletic and Raith Rovers on loan. Russell represented Scotland at under-19 and under-21 level. He was first named in the Scotland squad in 2012, and made his full international debut in November 2014.
Russell, who had featured just five times for Dundee United's under-19 side in 2006–07, made his professional debut on 12 May 2007 in the 2–0 defeat at Falkirk, coming on as an 80th-minute substitute. In August 2008, Russell moved on loan to Forfar Athletic until the end of the year, scoring twice on his début. In January 2009, Russell made his first start for Dundee United in the Scottish Cup fourth round victory at East Stirlingshire, scoring a second-half penalty kick for his first United goal. Russell returned to Forfar on loan for the remainder of the season, agreeing a contract extension with United in April until May 2012.
In September 2009, Russell played and scored in Dundee United's League Cup win against Ross County before undertaking a month's loan with Raith Rovers, which was subsequently extended until Boxing Day. The deal was further extended until the end of the season, and Russell ended his time in Kirkcaldy in style, netting his first senior hat-trick in a final day 4–1 win over Ross County.
Russell challenged by Lee Mair, St. Mirren v Dundee United, 2011
In April 2011, Russell scored a header, for Dundee United's second goal in a 3–2 win at Ibrox, which David Goodwillie scored the winner in the 89th minute. On 21 July he scored for United in the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League, the second in a 3–2 second qualifying round second leg win against Polish side Śląsk Wrocław. United had lost the first leg 1–0, so were eliminated on the away goals rule. He also scored against Celtic that season, and broke into the United team.
On 7 January 2012, Russell netted a hat-trick, his second of his career, in a 6–2 Scottish Cup win over Airdrie United. As of that match, Russell had scored a total of 9 goals in the 2011–12 season and it saw him become a regular in the starting line-up for Dundee United alongside Jon Daly.
On 19 January 2013, Russell scored his first SPL hattrick in a 3–2 win over Kilmarnock. On 2 February 2013, Russell equalled Finn Døssing's record for the fastest ever Dundee United goal. Scoring after 14 seconds in a 3–0 Scottish Cup victory against Rangers at Tannadice Park.
In May 2013, it was reported that bids for Russell were made by Italian Serie A team Catania and English Championship side Derby County with Dundee United keen to sell Russell with a year left on his contract after his agent stated that Russell would not be signing a new contract. In June 2013; Derby County had an offer accepted for the striker, with personal terms also agreed ahead of a medical on 10 June.
On the day of his medical, Russell formally joined Derby County for a fee of around £750,000. He signed a four-year contract. Russell made an impressive start to his Derby County career, scoring a brace in a pre-season friendly at Irish side Bohemians. He then scored goals in each of the subsequent friendlies at Port Vale and Bristol Rovers. Russell's competition for a starting place consisted of Chris Martin, Conor Sammon and Jamie Ward. Russell scored on his competitive debut, from the penalty spot, in Derby's 1–1 draw with Blackburn Rovers on 4 August. He scored a fifth in four friendlies in the Bass Charity Vase final against Burton Albion on 13 August, which Derby lost 3–2. He scored the first in a 3–0 win away at Yeovil Town on 24 August, missed a penalty in a 0–3 home defeat to Burnley and got both goals in a 2–2 draw away to Bolton Wanderers on 17 September. His fifth goal of the season came on 5 October 2013. The first game under new Derby manager Steve McClaren, Russell scored the second goal as The Rams beat Leeds United 3–1, recording their 10th consecutive win against the Yorkshiremen. Russell fractured his left Fibula during the game and was ruled out of action for six weeks.