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2016 Player Profiles, #4: Yura Movsisyan

Yura Movsisyan didn’t quite live up to his initial statements, but his return saw him become an integral part of RSL.

MLS: Montreal Impact at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Yura Movsisyan came back to Real Salt Lake with high expectations. He had a very successful stint in Europe, building his resume and player profile with experience at one of the biggest clubs in the world at Spartak Moscow and having represented Armenia in 2012 Euro qualifying. That alone would come with some promise.

In one of Yura’s first interviews in Salt Lake City after re-joining the club, he made some lofty statements that probably set him up for some letdowns if we’re being honest. He said that after his experience abroad, he only needs one chance to score. He all but predicted that he would score upwards of 20 goals in 2016. And he, like most players when they join a new club, said he wants to bring a championship to the city.

The season is obviously over now, and he ended up with nine goals and three assists. Those nine goals came from 68 shots and 28 shots on goal. So he didn’t need just one chance to score, needed roughly three clear chances to score. And, yes, he came well short of 20 goals.

So did Movsisyan live up to his capabilities in 2016? No. But he was still a driving force and an integral part of Real Salt Lake’s season. He was clearly a leader on the field, especially when things were looking down for the team. He led multiple comebacks with his energy and determination not to lose. And I don’t think any player in MLS hit the post or crossbar more than Movsisyan this year.

All in all, Movsisyan put a lot of pressure on himself to perform and conceded after the season was over that the adjustment to the league was more difficult than he anticipated. He also knows he has to score more goals. So fans aren’t pointing out anything that he does not already know. But he now one of the faces of this franchise for the foreseeable future and even though he didn’t have the kind of performance we would have hoped game in and game out, he is just scratching the surface of how much he can fill up a stat sheet. That’s should leave fans optimistic since he was still one of the best players over the course of the year in spite of having had a less-than-hoped-for campaign.