Canouse was born on June 11th, 1995, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was brought up in a supportive family of 6 with one sister named Chelsea and two brothers, Kyle (older) and Riley (younger). All of them attended the local Hempfield School District, with it only about five minutes away from home.
Russell's soccer career started at the local Amos Herr Park, at the age of 5 years old. After a few years of realizing his love of the game, he moved into his first club soccer environment with a local team called Leeds United, named after the famous English Club. From Leeds United, he moved into the PA Classics Academy, which is one of the most successful academy clubs in the PA area. At the age of 13 years old, Canouse started attending some New York Red Bulls winter clinics and eventually made the move to their U14 Academy Team full time. At this early age, Russell already learned to make sacrifices to chase his dream. His dad would pick him from middle school in order to get to practice on time in New Jersey. Also, Canouse had to give up playing basketball with friends because of his new time committed to soccer. This was the point in Canouse's young career that he decided to attack his dream of becoming a professional soccer player at full force.
During this transition into the Red Bull's Academy System, Russell was also involved in the Olympic Development Program, which involved representing your state team and if given the opportunity, your regional team, which consisted of multiple states. It was a group of training sessions and eventually tryouts to get the invitation to play with the U14 US National Team. Canouse made the team and was involved with the U14 National Team taking trips to Florida, California, and Mexico.
After moving through the youth national team ranks, Canouse decided to take the opportunity to move down to Florida to go to school and train full on with the U17 National Team. In January 2011, now 15 years old, Russell decided to take an offer to move abroad to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim after living down in Florida for one year.