Movsisyan signs pre-contract with Randers, will leave RSL after season


Real Salt Lake striker Yura Movsisyan has signed a pre-contract with Danish club Randers, meaning he will leave MLS after the current season to join Randers on January 1, 2010. Movsisyan is in the final year of his MLS contract and is allowed to sign with a new club six months before his current contract expires.

A first-round pick in 2006 by Kansas City, Movsisyan has chosen to play out the final year of his initial four-year MLS contract, which means he will be able to leave Real Salt Lake on a free transfer. Patrick McCabe, Movsisyan's agent, confirmed the deal to SBI and revealed that Randers had approached RSL about a transfer fee to acquire Movsisyan during the summer but were turned down.

Movsisyan helped carry RSL to the MLS playoffs last season, but is enduring his ups and downs this season, managing four goals and two assists for Real Salt Lake. He has managed 16 goals and three assists over the course of four seasons.

Movsisyan's departure comes after a winter that saw Real Salt Lake lock up several other key players to new contracts, including Javier Morales, Jamison Olave and Chris Wingert. Movsisyan is set to make $70,582.50 this season with Real Salt Lake.

What do you think of Movsisyan departing MLS? Disappointed? Surprised? Think he's making a mistake or do you see him thriving in Europe?

Share your thoughts below.

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61 Responses to Movsisyan signs pre-contract with Randers, will leave RSL after season

  1. CACuzcatlan says:

    Cap him before Armenia does!!

    Sorry, someone was gonna say it eventually

  2. Mr. Derp says:

    Any news of an Armenia call-up for the guy? He’s got to be better than some of the dudes in that squad.

  3. simms21 says:

    He’s a American citizen right? If he is I’m all for development.

  4. Matt in SF says:

    Good for Yuri.

  5. Matt in SF says:

    ^^ *Yura

  6. Hopper says:

    Cap Movsisyan? For the USA? Why? So we can have another mediocre forward? It’s not like he’s lighting up MLS.

  7. sonicdeathmonkey says:

    He’s not a citizen.

    Good for Yura. Yes, he can be a bit up and down, but he certainly can create chances on his own, a quality that is lacking in most forwards in the league. Best of luck to him.

  8. Pat says:

    Just when I was learning to spell his name…

  9. Ulrich says:

    One day MLS will understand that transfering a player for some money is better than losing the player for nothing.

  10. THE Nick says:

    This is a solid move for the big center forward. I wish him well.

  11. b-hags says:

    CAP HIM!!!

  12. Michael F. - SBI Mafia Original says:

    Hey Ives,

    I don’t know anything about the Danish league. Or a lot of other leagues aside from EPL, La Liga, and Bundesliga. I just always assume because MLS is really still in its infancy, that any European first division is a step up. Is that true?
    Can you list the top 25 first division leagues in the world?
    Would MLS be on it?


  13. SombraAla says:

    Ulrich: Only if the transfer money is greater than the money that the player could help acquire if that player plays the rest of the season – in this case, if Yura manages to get RSL to the playoffs/whatnot, then perhaps that will be better than what Randers offered. I can’t imagine they were going to offer a great deal of money for just a few months either.

  14. scott47a says:

    Good for Yura. Perhaps RSL will think DP with that open spot come the off-season???

  15. BarberA says:

    He might not realize it now, but he is going to miss that extra $.50 on his salary.

  16. MiamiAl says:

    As the “super sub” he was pretty decent.

  17. Brian says:

    This is great for Yura, but bad for MLS and even worse for RSL. MLS needs to get salaries up to compete with the mid-level leagues in Europe. We don’t need to compete with the salaries of La Liga, Serie A, or the EPL, but we need to stop losing developing talent to a league that is no better than the MLS, (unless I have vastly underestimated the Danish League).

  18. seth|NYC says:

    I am deeply disturbed that MLS continues to lose decent players to inferior leagues. How can a team whose stadium holds only 12,000 people outbuy RSL, who averages better attendance than Randers’ all-time best. Very sad.

  19. Aljarov says:

    fair enough. he;s good some good potential. He’s fast, and has good skills. Was on a wretched run until recently, but he lit it up last year.

    Lucky RSL has Espindola, Escalada and FIndley so they’re not going to be too bad (assumign Escalada hangs around, he’s not playing much but had a good reputation coming in)

  20. CACuzcatlan says:

    Much bigger TV deal in Denmark is one reason I would guess. Plus if the team is in Europe (Europa League or CL) they get a lot of cash.

  21. Niccollo says:

    Brian, you are infact NOT underestimating the Danish League. i would hate to call them inferior but it is no clear “step-up” in the footballing world

  22. mike says:

    I dont believe that Yura has an Armenian passport. He was born in Azerbaijan, iirc, and is, as far as I understand, a citizen of only that country.

    He is ethnicly Armenian.

    I dont know if he has a green card yet, and have no idea what a move to play professionally in a foreign country would do to that process.

  23. Supsam says:

    I think its players like Movsisyan that make any league look exciting. You like that individualistic effort one puts out against an opposing team. Movsisyan was the type of player that made defenders not want to be in a one on one situation. MLS needs more players like him.

    How did we lose him to the Danish league? Is it really that much better tahn MLS?

  24. Felix says:

    I’d like to see him capped by the US, but I imagine Armenia is going to jump all over him now. Good for him though, he seems like a good guy.

  25. DC Josh says:

    MLS is becoming a gateway for second-tier Europe. Another sign that the talent in the league is rising. Unfortunately, with all of these players leaving, and new clubs forming, I think the level of talent across the board will become worse.

    Hopefully college kids in the future will make an impact similar to 2009’s class.

  26. jpc says:

    The danish league is supposed to be the best of those leagues up there (i.e. norway, sweden, denmark), but it still seems like an odd move. Probably jumped the gun a little bit, but I guess he wants to play in the best league possible, and this is the stepping stone to get there.

  27. b-hags says:

    UEFA national team rankings have Armenia sitting at 44th…just above Liechtenstein and below Moldova. The potential to play for the US would be much more inviting.

  28. Igor says:

    Danish league is definitely better than MLS, but not by too much.

    But the salaries are much higher.

  29. Brett says:

    Call him up for our next match against Turkey.

  30. Ted says:

    Does he head to Vietnam next?

  31. HIncha Tim says:

    First of all, he’s Azerbaijani by nationality, he’s Armenian by ethnicity, so he would play for Azerbaijan not Armenia, unless one of his parents were Armenian citizens.

  32. Rudy says:

    Danish league is definitely a step up from MLS. MLS is more on par with Sweden and Norway which are both summer leagues that no one cares about. Sound familiar?

  33. jloome says:

    Danish league is definitely better than MLS, but not by too much.

    But the salaries are much higher.
    Our top-end is like their average club, basically. They have that Euro tradition of a a couple of clubs able to outspend and dominate, and any MLS sides would be in for a pretty torrid time there; MLS is more like SPL level.

  34. Sterlinho says:

    I don’t care where he plays but the dude needs to lay off the cologne. I could smell him from another table when we were at the same restaurant. In fact, another guy that was with me asked who the Eurotrash was.

  35. cbr says:

    Hincha Tim..thats for clearing up his are one smart man

  36. three11stu says:

    RSL just let Escalada go, so for strikers, it is just Findley and Espindola. And it is pretty interesting that in RSL’s current 5 game unbeaten streak, Yura has had a hand scoring in every game (while Saturday was an own goal, the San Jose player kicked it off Yura’s foot into the goal).

    He will be missed here in RSL (by myself at least).

  37. AJ says:

    Does he head to Vietnam next?

    Posted by: Ted | July 06, 2009 at 05:55 PM

    Nice one Ted, I was thinking the same thing.

  38. Matt says:

    Congratulations Yura! It’s great to see all sorts of Yanks sprinkling through the Danish league.

  39. aristotle says:

    I’m glad this happened. Now maybe RSL can get a better forward! I have no idea why Randers would want him, but then again we are talking about Randers! I don’t know what player some of the posters here have been watching, but everything I’ve seen of this guy is awful. He seems to need about ten fantastic opportunities per goal. Perhaps his off the ball and secondary play are good, but just as a goal scorer? P-U!

  40. Jacopo Belbo says:

    Wow. There aren’t a lot of leagues that would be a step down from MLS but the Danish league surely must be one of them. For the people on here who think the Danish League is BETTER get a clue. Just because it is in Europe does not make it better. And I am no fan of the MLS in terms of it being “high quality” football but puh-lease … it’s Denmark.

  41. ben says:

    FINALLY! I hate to see him go for nothing when people still seem to rate him so highly, but I can’t take another year of him hitting open shots into the 35th row. My personal favorite this year was his shot that missed so badly it went over the SIDEline. He puts in a ton of effort, but his touch is poor, shooting is awful, and his field awareness is non-existent. Plus, he has one move that he uses constantly and I’ve noticed good defenders are now starting to key in on it. I’ll miss him, but just for the magic goals he scored late last season to get us in the playoffs (people forget he was awful for 2/3 of last year too). Now maybe Robbie can get off the bench for an extended stretch…

  42. Nussdorfer AC says:

    Good luck Yura. Looks like RSL should’ve taken the fee, let him go this summer and extended Escalada’s contract.

  43. Chase says:

    Back in ’07 Armenia radically altered its citizenship laws to allow for ethnic Armenians like Movsisyan to obtain dual citizenship (thus the ability to play for the their national team). Armenia has just started to issue passports under this new law and it seems that if Movsisyan really wanted to he could obtain Armenian citizenship through this channel.

    I’d also point out that Movsisyan (and his parents) was not born in Azerbaijan, but technically in the Soviet Union (of which the Azerbaijani SSR was a member).

    All that said, really not sure what some of you have seen from him to justify that the US rush to cap him (assuming he is anywhere near obtaining a green card)…

  44. Modibo says:

    I think the debate about what league is much more complicated… first of all there’s the question – better for who?

    In this case, Movsisyan is sure to get more money in Denmark than Utah. That’s just one part of the material benefit – maybe the team provides him with housing, a car, etc. A German friend who played Regionnaliga level there says he had such a deal. The material benefits are something MLS can work on by raising salaries, but it ain’t gonna happen overnight.

    The intangible benefits of playing in a place like Denmark are not as equally matched. Playing where most people care about the score of the game and recognize you on the street for your abilities to do something you love – how can MLS change that?

    And then there’s the potential for exposure in Europe, meeting other players and coaches who might recommend you to other teams before and after your playing career is over, and so forth.

    And what about living in a new place? Thierry Henry keeps talking about the adventure of living in the US… so did Beckham. MLS players are looking for the same thing. There’s nothing MLS can do about many of these things. Let’s hope with the new union negotiations after this season the cap goes up and player salaries rise, but I think we’re going to keep seeing talented players move to Scandinavia, the SPL, etc.

  45. Richard says:

    The Danish league may not have better talent, but they pay better than MLS. Then again, virtually any respectable sports league in existance anywhere in the world pays better than MLS.

  46. scott47a says:

    Deseret News is reporting MLS still trying to negotiate a transfer fee so that Yura can leave now and MLS can get something for him.

    The story says he will be back at practice Wednesday if a deal isn’t reached before then.

    link to

  47. man says:

    The dude sucks, let him leave.

  48. understood says:

    promising player…inconsistent but promising…hope his career takes off in europe

  49. RLW2020 says:

    good for him, i guess, too bad for Salt Lake why didn’t RSL want to reacquire him .. and why didn’t they re sign him to begin with?

    it would be great if the top players from the mls routinely went on 6 month loans to anywhere in europe from january to june. they would come back to the MLS with an elevated game ready for the second half of the season.

  50. Heffe says:

    RSL needs to agree to a fee in order to get something out of this. If they lose Yura for free, it won’t help us at all.

  51. Tom P says:

    Cap him before Armenia does!!

    worth repeating because I believe this guy is going to develop into a mid level european gem.

  52. Tom P says:

    The Danish league may not have better talent, but they pay better than MLS. Then again, virtually any respectable sports league in existance anywhere in the world pays better than MLS.

    Posted by: Richard

    Richard- you are oh so right it needs to be repeated again and again.

    It was for the above mentioned reasons I was surprised Seattle got Montero because the pay in Columbia is better with the big clubs- let alone Denmark.

    I don’t think many peole out in U.S. Soccer land know it is better to be a squad player-not a star-finacially in Norway’s 2nd division then be a semi to regular starter in MLS in terms of money. Frankly, I am amazed at how the level of play has improved in MLS considering they throw nickels around like they are man hole covers. (not to mention now they don’t spend a dime on youth/reserve development)

    And they wonder why we, the USA, depend on soccer mom’s in German made SUV’s for our player pool.

  53. mtnplay says:

    Yura is green, but will turn into a decent player, he makes alot of poor shots, and gets nervous in front of the goal. Findley is a much better potential player with speed. I don’t mind Yura going to europe, but what mediocre talent do they get to replace him? Also, money aside, I don’t know that the visibility is any better in Denmark than the MLS. Alot of euro leagues are looking at the MLS for deals, and it seems that with another year or two, that Yura might be able to move to a better league and have more long term earning power and a better club. Not sure what the strategy of letting Escalada go was, but it seems that Garth and Jason are fumbling.

  54. Justin O says:

    For those saying he could play for Azerbaijan – WOW, I guess international relations of the last 20 years are not the specialty of some! He could more easily play for Brazil (or any other country on the planet) than Azerbaijan!

  55. marksonm says:

    he went to pasadena community college and got drafted thru there.

    when i heard that news i was shocked cuz i went to PCC as well and their soccer team was shite when i walked on.

    he mustve been something amazing to get attentions

  56. Ceres says:

    This is roughly how good the Danish league is at the moment in compare with other European leagues :

    link to

    (or click my name below to open link)

    Just below the Dutch and better than the likes of Scotland, Greece and Belgium… It’s not a few absolut top teams but league depth that makes the Danish league better than Scotland or Belgium in Europe.


  57. Maybe MLS needs to consider selling more players. In Football, that is where the money really is.

    MLS is trying to get a transfer fee now? Maybe they need to change their thinking. How many free transfers have there been in the last 5 years. What was the revenue loss for those?

    Brazil has a strong league, but understands that their primary business is to develop and sell players. Player development is where the money is in this sport.

  58. Matt says:


    I’m tired of this debate:

    “You know what would make MLS better?! If we paid everyone ten times more!!”

    Yes, that is true. But the reason why MLS has a salary cap of $3 Million is that the REVENUE only allows that (actually the revenue allows less given that most teams lose money).

    Denmark is a small country with a mediocre league. However, it can afford to pay higher salaries because THE PEOPLE ACTUALLY WATCH THE SPORT!

    We have this misconception that if we only improved the talent level in MLS, then more people would watch. This isn’t true. The 80% of americans whom wouldn’t be caught dead watching this sport don’t care if MLS (or the men’s national team) are good or bad. They just don’t care about the sport.

  59. MattC says:

    As a huge RSL fan and supporter, this is embarrassing. Of course Movsisyan is not a star but he definitely has that potential and he is still only 21 years old. RSL and the MLS as a whole needs to pay these budding stars enough to keep them here at least until they have clearly outperformed the league. Losing a guy like this to a mediocre club from Denmark is embarrassing and not a good sign for MLS.

  60. John says:

    My guess is he will not like playing in Europe, come back to the Dynamo as a “Discoveery Signing” and score 58 goals in a season.

  61. Ceres says:

    Would you be less disappointed if he had moved to Rangers in Scotland and not Randers in Denmark ??…

    Randers is of course not Rangers, but the fact is still that the Danish league is better than the Scottish PL and export much more players to the top 4 leagues of Europe, so it very much attract young talented players from all over the World… also fairly young German and Dutch players. It’s also not by chance that Feilhaber chose a Danish club to get his career back on track.

    MLS has improved and is now probably at around the same level as the Swedish league, also when you look at the average wages. So it’s not that bad… but then the Danish league has improved very much financially the past 3-4 years and has never been better than it is right now, so it’s a level above Sweden in the Europa cups and seem to be moving very close to the level of the Dutch league.