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Is Yura Movsisyan earning his keep?

Inside the Six goes deep into the dirty underbelly of the MLS strikers market.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Sporting KC Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

So we’re going a different route this week. Inside the Six has been fun, but the structure feels a little limiting, so I’m trying something a little new. Basically, the idea is for a longer “sweater watch” type segment, and we can do some Q&A in the comments below. If you like it, great! If you don’t well then go watch this primate ride a sideways electronic skateboard. You know what, maybe just watch that anyways.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk Real Salt Lake. For the fourth time in nine games this season, RSL failed to put the ball in the back of the net. To be fair, if there was a goal stacked on top of the goal this would’ve been a laser to the side netting:

But the laws of the game unfortunately prevent the stacking of goals (I assume) and instead, RSL fans were subjected to watching a performance in which Real took 14 shots, but only managed to put two on target.

A lot of blame for these sort of performances tend to fall on the striker, in this case Yura Movsisyan, and in recent weeks the Armenian has to be feeling what Robert De Niro felt in his 1995 crime film Heat: a little bit of heat (come on guys, it’s right in the movie title).

Movsisyan is sitting on a four goal tally, nine games into the season. This seems respectable, but as Spiderman once said “With a great DP tag comes great responsibility” and since we now know our center forward is bringing in a team leading salary of $1.97 million (which is basically my hourly wage if you take off the million) the fanbase has been even more critical of Yura.

In Movsisyan’s defense, the service hasn’t always been there this season, and even the most clinical finisher needs something to finish. He’s also on pace for 15 goals, which would’ve had him tied for 8th in last year’s golden boot race. Can we really expect a lot more from him?

Just for fun, I took the top 5 goal scorers in MLS last year, and divided their salary by their goals scored, to give us a look at how much goals cost in Major League Soccer. Here are the results:

Bradley Wright-Phillips - $1,635,000 - 24 goals - $68,125 per goal

David Villa - $5,610,000 - 23 - $243,913 per goal

Sebastian Giovinco - $7,115,555 - 17 - $418,562 per goal

Ignacio Piatti - $450,000 - 17 - $26,470 per goal

Dom Dwyer - $668,750 - 16 - $41,796 per goal

By means of comparison Movsisyan was at $219,305 per goal last season, cheaper goals than Villa and Giovinco, but much pricier than the other three combined. If he finishes with 15 this season, his rate will be $131,583, a little better and probably in line with expectations given his price tag and CV.

Goals are expensive, and unless you can catch lightning in a bottle with under the radar signings like Wright-Phillips, Piatti, and Dwyer, you will pay a premium for them. To me Movsisyan’s rate of scoring is on par with his salary, especially when you consider that he will get better service as the team builds chemistry and he could very well outperform that 15 goal mark. His hold up play and what he brings defensively are a separate discussion for another time, but the conclusion to this is that somewhere a grown man is getting paid $418k for kicking a ball into a net. Isn’t America rad?

Is Yura overpaid? Let us know what you think in the comments! Also ask any questions you’ve got, I’ll jump on Wednesday evening and answer everything I can.