Former Dundee United forward Johnny Russell is delighted he has stayed on Scotland’s radar despite pursuing his American dream.
Russell scored 45 goals in 121 appearances for the Tangerines before making a £700,000 move to Derby County in the summer of 2013.
The 28-year-old was a big hit with the Rams before moving across the Atlantic to join Major League Soccer side Sporting Kansas City in January.
Russell has made an impressive start to his career Stateside and his reward came when he was named in national coach Alex McLeish’s squad for their current trip to the Americas.
He is only expected to link up with the rest of his fellow countrymen for next Saturday’s clash in Mexico, with Sporting due to play Columbus Crew just 48 hours before Scotland take on Peru this Tuesday.
Russell has not featured for his country since collecting his fourth cap in the Scots’ 6-0 victory over Gibraltar in October 2015 and is keen to make the most of his recall.
He said: “It’s one of the highest points in your career because growing up you always want to play for your country at any level.
“I’ve been lucky to do it.
“I had spoken to some people back home and they had asked me about being involved in the national team and I said that I still feel I can give something to Scotland.
“I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly because it was literally only three or four weeks ago.
“It’s nice to know that, even though I am outside the UK, there are still people watching.
“You never know if it’s going to be out of sight, out of mind type of thing.
“But it’s worked out really well for me coming out here to the US and it’s given me that spark back in my game.
“I am just thankful they are still keeping a watchful eye on what happens outside the UK as well.
“I think for years a lot of people saw the MLS as a retirement league but I think it’s definitely attracting more young players and it’s something that I’ve always wanted to come and play in.”