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Robert Isaac Oleen Russell (born July 16, 1979) is a former Ghanaian American soccer player.

Robbie Russell
Personal information
Full name Robert Isaac Oleen Russell
Date of birth (1979-07-16) July 16, 1979 (age 39)
Place of birth Accra, Ghana
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1997–2000 Duke Blue Devils
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2001 Breiðablik 12 (1)
2002–2004 Sogndal 67 (4)
2004–2005 Rosenborg 13 (0)
2006–2008 Viborg 25 (0)
2008–2011 Real Salt Lake 78 (1)
2012–2013 D.C. United 20 (1)
Total 264 (11)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of November 1, 2012




Russell was born in Accra, Ghana, but grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts, and played college soccer at Duke University from 1997 to 2000 and decided he would play internationally in Iceland.


Russell turned professional in 2001 and spent one season at Icelandic club Breiðablik. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer but opted to try his fortunes overseas.

Russell joined Sogndal of the Norwegian Premier League, where he established himself as one of the best right backs in Norway. This fact was confirmed when Rosenborg BK also from Norway made a move for him in 2004. Russell became a starter at right back in his first season with Rosenborg BK (including two starts for the team in the UEFA Champions League) and helped the team win its 19th league title. Unfortunately he only played in a couple of matches in 2005 due to a knee injury and a change in the coaching staff. In July 2006, Russell moved to Viborg FF of the Danish Superliga. His debut for Viborg FF came in a 3-1 loss at Aalborg BK.

In July 2008, Russell ended his Scandinavian sojourn by signing with Real Salt Lake, where coach Jason Kreis was a fellow alumnus of Duke University.[1]

On November 23, 2009, Russell scored the game-winning goal of the 2009 MLS Cup in the seventh round of a penalty kick shoot out. The goal gave Real Salt Lake their first MLS championship. On May 29, 2010 he scored his first career goal for Real Salt Lake in a 4-1 victory over the Kansas City Wizards at Rio Tinto Stadium.

On November 29, 2011, Russell was traded to D.C. United for a third-round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, which became a first-round pick in the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft when the SuperDraft was shortened.[2]

Interview with the VOA in 2013.

Russell announced his retirement from professional soccer on May 15, 2013.[3] He began classes in June 2013 in Georgetown University's Post-baccalaureate Pre-Medical Certificate Program.[4]

Robbie Russell (in red) scored RSL's winning penalty kick in the 2009 MLS Cup Final


Although Russell never earned a cap for the United States national team, he was called into national team camps as an option for the United States right back position.


Real Salt LakeEdit



This article incorporates public domain text from the Voice of America.

  1. ^ Lewis, Michael C. (2008-07-23). "Soccer: RSL acquires midfielder from Danish team - Salt Lake Tribune". Retrieved 2012-11-28.
  2. ^ "Robbie Russell acquired from Real Salt Lake". Archived from the original on 1 December 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  3. ^
  4. ^

External linksEdit