Real Salt Lake has acquired FW Yura Movsisyan as a Designated Player via loan from FC Spartak Moscow in the Russian Premier League, General Manager Craig Waibel announced today. The 28-year-old striker returns to RSL – pending receipt of his ITC from the Russian Federation – after winning MLS Cup with the Claret-and-Cobalt in his final match with the club in 2009, the State of Utah’s lone major professional sports championship since 1973.
“For me, it’s been a long time I’ve been wanting to come back,” said Movsisyan, whose 2016 RSL jersey will reprise the #14 he wore with the Utah side from 2007-09. “Obviously Salt Lake was my first choice because it was such a great place for me and my family. I felt at home in Utah. Leaving with a championship – I want to come back and do that again.
“I want to win more championships with Salt Lake – with the club that I was part of the evolution. I was part of the team that went basically from the bottom to being champions. This is what I want to do again and what I’m excited about. For me, it’s an amazing thing to come back.”
The 2016 season will mark the Armenian International’s second stint with RSL, having previously played with Real Salt Lake from 2007-2009, coming to Utah via trade with the then-Kansas City Wizards. In three MLS campaigns on the Wasatch Front, Movsisyan played 53 regular-season matches with the Claret-and-Cobalt, scoring 15 goals while helping RSL to the 2009 MLS Cup title.
Movsisyan owns the distinction of notching a stoppage-time equalizer at Colorado in the 2008 regular-season finale to vault RSL into the postseason for the first time, and notching the club’s first-ever playoff goal a week later against the club’s expansion brethren CD Chivas USA. Movsisyan currently ranks sixth overall in club history with 15 MLS regular-season goals scored.
“Yura is a goalscorer,” said Waibel, the former MLS Cup and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champion now in his first full year as RSL General Manager. “He’s always been a goalscorer and statistically speaking, his numbers are undeniably productive no matter where he’s played. He’s at an age right now and at a point of his life right now, he had a priority with his wife that they wanted to move back to the States. Everything just added up to make sense for him to come. We have an undeniable interest to bring in good soccer players and goalscorers and Yura is one of those. We believe he’s a double-digit goalscorer and we’re really excited to get him back out on the field and start producing.”