Ryan Gauld and Johnny Russell in Scotland thoughts despite MLS pair's squad omission

Johnny Russell #7 of Sporting Kansas City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)Johnny Russell #7 of Sporting Kansas City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Johnny Russell #7 of Sporting Kansas City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
John Carver has sent encouragment to Scotland’s stateside stars and insisted Johnny Russell and Ryan Gauld are in the national team’s thoughts, despite their recent squad omission.

Russell is on-form at Kansas City and recently became top Scottish scorer in MLS history while Gauld has impressed at Vancouver Whitecaps since his summer move from Farense in Portugal.

Despite rave reviews in the USA neither has made the cut for Steve Clarke’s squad since Russell was last called up more than two years ago and he has feared his international career might be over.

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That’s not the case coach Carver explained although Scotland are heading to Moldova without either player: “I’ve got a close affinity to the MLS because I’ve worked out there [at Toronto with Mo Johnston in 2008]. I know both players really well.

“After the last camp, Vancouver were playing Kansas and I jokingly said I might go across – I was actually going on holiday – but we’re watching them all the time. The two guys are definitely, definitely, in Steve’s thoughts and mine.

“They keep scoring goals, so there’s no reason why not.

“If you’re scoring goals, and it’s something we’ve not been good at over a period of time, then you have to take these guys into consideration.

“So, they are definitely on the radar. That’s for sure.”

While Carver may have taken a break the last time the players met, but he has a second chance to watch both in a Western Conference MLS Cup play-off later this month.

“They’re playing against each other again in the play-offs? That might be a little trip for me, then!” he added.

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