With the sting of last season’s playoff exit still fresh, Sporting KC welcomed undefeated Real Salt Lake to town looking for small measure of revenge. And for a time it felt like that revenge may not quite come. But then up stepped their talisman, Johnny Russell… A perfect end to the latest instalment in our “Framed” series.

Sporting might not be the side they have been in the past, but while the team strive to regain the glory of seasons past, The Cauldron, their famed supporter's group, remain loyal to the bitter end. Since moving into their current home, Children’s Mercy Park, back in 2010, the fans have gone about creating ‘The Blue Hell’; a stand within the stadium that becomes a fervent wall of noise for 90 minutes, punctuated by numerous drums, flags, and banners (think a scaled down version of Borussia Dortmund’s ‘Yellow Wall’, only blue). And they were in full voice for the visit of Real Salt Lake this weekend.

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Amid a disappointing start to their season and dealing with the loss of their striker Alan Pulido, Sporting was in desperate need of a win against conference rivals Real Salt Lake on Saturday. After a tense 80 minutes with neither side being able to find an opener, up stepped Johnny Russell, skipper-supreme and the man that makes the home side tick. The Scotsman took matters into his own hands, seizing a loose ball in the box and finishing coolly to send the crowd into a rapturous delirium. A much-needed three points and a potential catalyst for the rest of Sporting's season.

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Photography by Jake Wendel for SoccerBible.