This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Yura Movsisyan appears to be returning to Real Salt Lake.
The Tribune learned through league sources Sunday that terms have been agreed upon to bring the 28-year-old Spartak Moscow striker back to Major League Soccer and RSL after spending the last six seasons professionally both in Denmark and Russia.
RSL, through a team spokesman, had no comment Sunday.
Movsisyan's agent, Patrick McCabe, told The Tribune on Saturday night that discussions between RSL and Spartak were ongoing, adding, "But not anything final."
Movsisyan originally left RSL to pursue a career in Europe in Jan. 2010, but RSL extended a contract offer despite the expiration of Movsisyan's previous contract, which allowed RSL to retain his MLS rights if he ever chose to return to the league down the road.
Six years later, he looks to be headed back.
And it's a deal months in the making. General manager Craig Waibel has publicly expressed interest in recent months, saying in November that RSL would remain interested in Movsisyan, should he ever become available.
Now in his expected return to RSL, Movsisyan is what the club's supporters hope is the experienced, all-around forward capable of producing double-digit goal marks each season. The club has been on the prowl for a striker of these qualities since the dip in form of the club's all-time leading scorer, Alvaro Saborio, who was dealt last summer to D.C. United.
Movsisyan signed with Danish club Randers FC after helping RSL win its first and only MLS Cup title in 2009. All he's done overseas is produce as a versatile central forward. Since 2011, Movsisyan had played in the Russian Premier League. He moved from Randers to Krasnodar where he scored 23 goals in 50 league appearances.
Spartak Moscow soon came calling, reportedly spending $9.7 million on a transfer fee to acquire the Southern California product. In four years at Spartak, Movsisyan scored 25 goals. But the draw to return to the U.S. was always there.
McCabe told The Tribune last summer that Movsisyan, who spent two and a half seasons at RSL, expressed interest in being closer to his family in Pasadena, Calif.
Movsisyan and wife Marianna have two young children.
Most recently, Movsisyan was part of the American Armenian Rose Float in the 127th Rose Parade on New Year's Day in Pasadena, Calif.
He broke into MLS in 2006 with the then-Kansas City Wizards. In Sept. 2007, former RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey traded for Movsisyan. He scored 15 goals in 53 appearances and played a part in the equalizing goal in the 2009 MLS Cup final against the L.A. Galaxy.
Ethnically Armenian, Movsisyan was born and raised in Azerbaijan. When he was 12, he and his family left the war-riddled country, emigrating to Southern California. Movsisyan was a standout striker at Pasadena High School before going on to enroll at Pasadena City College. He was drafted fourth by Kansas City in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft.