Russell played his college soccer at the University of Washington along with former Earthquake teammate Craig Waibel. After his college career, Russell signed with the Seattle Sounders of the A-League in 1998. He played with the Sounders for two years until he was drafted by the San Jose Earthquakes in the 2000 MLS SuperDraft. Russell was the Earthquakes' seventh pick of the draft, 52nd overall.
Russell was an integral part of coach Frank Yallop's team that won the 2001 and 2003 MLS Cups playing outside midfield. In six years in the league, Russell scored five goals and notched 20 assists. Russell was released when the franchise moved to Houston.
In April 2007, Russell was signed by the Los Angeles Galaxy, coached at the time by Yallop. He was released early in the season and retired soon after. In November 2007, he was hired as an assistant coach for the new San Jose Earthquakes by current coach, Frank Yallop.