Russell has hat trick, Sporting KC beats Whitecaps by 6

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza (17) and Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Felipe Martins (8) battle for the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Kansas City, Kan., Friday, April 20, 2018. (Orlin Wagner/AP)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Johnny Russell had his first career MLS hat trick and Sporting Kansas City routed the nine-man Vancouver Whitecaps 6-0 on Friday night for the largest margin of victory in Children’s Mercy Park history.

Kansas City (5-1-2) is undefeated in its last seven matches — with five victories. Vancouver (3-4-1), which was without forward Kei Kamara, lost its third straight.

Russell scored two goals in the opening 16 minutes. He one-touched a cross with his right foot to open the scoring in the 10th minute and he took five touches along the left side to send in a deflected shot for a 2-0 lead. Russell was taken down in the penalty area in first-half stoppage time but Stefan Marinovic dove to his left to block Ilie Sanchez’s penalty kick.

In the 48th minute, Russell played a short corner kick for a give-and-go and chipped it over Marinovic from the end line to make it 4-0. Russell was subbed off four minutes later.

Yordy Reyna and Efrain Juarez were given straight red cards for Vancouver in the 40th minute following a skirmish with Russell.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.