Real Salt Lake has one of the most potent attacks in Major League Soccer. But soon they will have one less weapon in their arsenal.
Striker Yura Movsisyan, who is second-leading scorer on the team with four goals, has signed for Danish side Randers FC. The deal is for three years, set to begin on January 1, when the 21-year-old’s contract with RSL is up at the end of 2009.
Movsisyan went to Denmark over the weekend, Goal.com has learned, and finalized the deal.
“It is a good next step in his career in a league which should highlight his strengths and allow him to gain more experience,” Movsisyan’s agent Patrick McCabe told Goal.com. “The coaching staff have tracked him closely for months and are very excited that he has chosen Randers from the numerous clubs across Europe that expressed interest in his services.”
"This is a lad with the right qualities to become a truly exciting player for Randers and Danish football,” Randers manager John Faxe said on the team’s website.
Since bursting onto the MLS scene as a teenager in 2006, Movsisyan, who is of Armenian descent, has been seen as a future prospect for the U.S. National Team. He has appeared in 71 matches and scored 15 goals. He began his career with the Kansas City Wizards after being drafted in the first round of the 2006 MLS Superdraft. RSL acquired his rights midway through the 2007 season, though he failed to score for the club that year.
The following year, after struggling with injuries during the early part of the season, Movsisyan broke out, scoring seven goals in his final 11 appearances. He was the side’s leading scorer. This season has seen him build on his success as he is on pace to break his career high in goals scored.
But despite the opportunities he's received from MLS, Movsisyan has always harbored a desire to play overseas.
"Yura’s expressed for a year or so that he wanted to go to Europe," RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey told Goal.com. "He indicated he might leave this summer."
There is still the possibility that Movsisyan could join Randers during the summer transfer window, but the Danes would have to pay RSL and MLS a transfer fee. Lagerwey confirmed to Goal.com that Randers made an offer and that MLS counter-offered, but nothing was agreed.
"Negotiations are ongoing between MLS and Randers about a possible transfer," Lagerwey said.
Big, strong, fast, and possessing an assassin’s mentality—he is fifth in shots taken in MLS this season—Movsisyan has all the tools to be a top marksman. Consistency has been a problem, but clearly Faxe likes what he is getting.
“He is an all-round player, good with both feet, fast, and has shown in recent performances in the MLS that he can score goals,” Faxe said. “He's just what we've been looking for, young, fast, flexible and got a nose for goals."
In recent years, Denmark has become a landing spot for more and more Americans looking to move to Europe. Movsisyan will join countrymen Marcus Tracy, Michael Parkhurst, Jeremiah White, Benny Feilhaber, and Danny Califf in the Superliga.
Greg Lalas, Goal.com
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