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Young RSL star plans Danish move
by Ridge Mahoney, July 7th, 2009 7:01AM
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[MLS] Sooner or later, Real Salt Lake forward Yura Movsisyan will be heading to Denmark. Agent Patrick McCabe confirmed Monday that Danish Superliga club Randers has reached an agreement to employ the 21-year-old starting in January, following expiration of his current MLS contract.

McCabe said Randers had tendered an offer to MLS to acquire him during the European transfer window, which opened last week, and that MLS and RSL had rejected the offer. According to a source, Movsisyan, who earns about $71,000 in base salary, had spurned at least two attempts by MLS to sign him to a new deal.

Under FIFA statutes, a player under contract is free to begin negotiating with other clubs during the last six months of his contract, and according to McCabe, Movsisyan has been under scrutiny by several European teams since the start of the MLS season.

"He's young, he's fast, and he scores goals," said McCabe Monday by phone from Denmark. "There are a lot of teams who are looking for just this kind of player and this is something Yura really wants to do."

RSL's players were given four days off following their 1-1 tie with San Jose last Friday, and Movsisyan and McCabe flew to Denmark last weekend. "We were going to check it out," says McCabe, "see the facilities, see the stadium, meet the coaches, meet the players. Yura liked the setup and they were obvious about wanting to sign him, so we got a deal done pretty quickly."

Randers is coached by former international John Jensen, a key figure in Denmark's astonishing triumph at the 1992 European Championships. As a last-minute replacement for Yugoslavia, which was kicked out of the competition in the wake of sanctions imposed by the United Nations, Denmark upset the Netherlands in the semifinals on penalty kicks and beat Germany - with Jensen scoring the winning goal -- to win the title. Another former international, Flemming Povlsen, works with the forwards.

"He very much wants to play for the [U.S.] national team," says McCabe of Movsisyan, whose family is Armenian and fled persecution in Azerbaijan when he was 12 to live in Southern California. Movsisyan is in the process of acquiring a green card and is married to an American citizen, Marianna, who is expecting their first child in December. "It's nothing against Real Salt Lake or MLS, he just thinks he will progress faster in that environment."

Randers is playing in the Europa League, a new competition that replaces the UEFA Cup. In its opener it beat Linfield (Northern Ireland), 4-0, last week, with the second leg to be played in Belfast on Thursday. It finished fifth in the Superliga last May.

With Movsisyan signed to play for Randers starting in January, negotiations for the club to buy him from MLS have resumed. If MLS receives a transfer fee, RSL would receive about two-thirds of it and the rest would go to the league. If he leaves as a free agent, RSL would retain his MLS rights.

Movsisyan was drafted by Kansas City out of Pasadena City College in 2006 and was traded to RSL midway through the 2007 season. He scored seven goals in 22 games last year and this season has four goals in 16 games. His career stats are 16 goals in 71 regular-season games.

He will return to the United States Tuesday with his new deal in hand and perhaps a permanent move in the works for sooner rather than later.


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