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Seattle • One of the first players dressed and ready to leave CenturyLink Field on Saturday afternoon was Yura Movsisyan.
Following Real Salt Lake's 1-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders, the RSL forward sounded off about his dissatisfaction with his role after starting only one of the past three matches and being taken off at halftime in the one match he did start.
Asked directly if he's frustrated with his role at the moment, the RSL Designated Player said, "Of course I am. It's a joke. But what can I do? I've just got to continue working hard."
In Wednesday's 2-1 win over New York City FC, Movsisyan was subbed off at halftime after RSL team doctors told coach Mike Petke that the striker might be experiencing concussion-related symptoms after taking a free kick to the head early on.
"Once I hear that," Petke said Wednesday night, "I'm not going to put somebody in jeopardy, especially somebody with a head injury. Yura wasn't happy, but 99 percent of it is my care for Yura, the one percent is I'm not getting in trouble."
After the loss in Seattle, Movsisyan said he never felt concussion-related symptoms.
"I felt fine. I was OK," he said. "Yeah, it's a nice shot to the side of the head, but I felt good. I felt fine. It was doctor's, coach's decision not to play me, but I felt fine. No issues there."
Movsisyan later acknowledged that he wasn't pleased to be taken off at halftime.
"Obviously I didn't like the fact that I was being pulled out, but that's just the way it goes," he said. "Our medical guys, they really care for you. They're there for your health, but at the end of the day, I wanted to be out there. I was OK. I had no problems, I had no symptoms of being concussed or potentially [concussed]. That's a decision they take, and I can't do anything about that."
Petke put Movsisyan on in the 74th minute of RSL's loss to the Sounders on Saturday, saying the decision to start Luis Silva over Movsisyan was a tactical move.
"I just thought in this game, the way we wanted to play, that [Joao] Plata and Luis were better suited for it," Petke said.
When asked how he goes about better formulating a relationship with Petke amid the frustrations, Movsisyan said "I just have to continue playing. I just have to continue working hard and playing and whether I get on the field or not, that's the coach's decision, that's the coaching staff's decision," he added. "The only thing I can do is just continue doing my job and working hard and hoping I get on the field."
The forward leads the team with four goals this season. Movsisyan returned to RSL in 2016 on a one-year loan from Russian club Spartak Moscow. Last October, RSL finalized the full-time move, making Movsisyan reportedly the highest-paid player in club history.
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