DAVID SMITH - Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The summer silly season is underway and hardly a week into it we've already had indications that we'll get our money's worth. The surprising move of Gooch to Italian giants AC Milan, the supposed loan of still-promising Sal Zizzo to Fortuna Düsseldorf (although we're still awaiting the official announcement from Fortuna) and the signing of young speedster Johann Smith to Croatia's Rijeka (which actually happened a few days before July 1, but who's counting?) are likely just the tip of the iceberg. Another move which shouldn't go unmentioned despite falling in a sort of gray area for our website is the summer's first departure - or rather promised departure - of an MLS player heading to territories unknown.
As announced on Monday, Real Salt Lake forward Yura Movsisyan has penned a three-year contract with Randers FC of the Danish Superliga from the beginning of January 2010. Since the middle of the 2008 MLS season, Movsisyan has developed into one of the league's more notable attackers, leading his team in goals scored last season with seven and currently standing as the team's second-leading scorer in the 2009 term with four scores (coincidentally two behind teammate Robby Findley, a recent trainee with Danish rivals Brøndby).
While not yet breaking into the upper echelons of MLS, his exploits were enough to catch the eye of Randers, last season's fifth-place finishers in the Superliga and currently navigating their way through the early rounds of the Europa League.
The ethnically Armenian, Azerbaijani-born Movsisyan presents a cloudy case for us here at YA, as he has reportedly expressed his desire to represent the US on a national level, however is still caught in the long process of gaining citizenship after having come to the US seeking asylum sometime around 2002. As many have found out, the road from asylum to citizenship is an arduously long one, usually taking ten or more years, likely leaving the future Randers player awhile longer to wait.
While his current lack of US citizenship and subsequent ineligibility for national team selection would normally keep Movsisyan out of our scope at YA for the time being, his stated desire to don the stars & stripes combined with his obvious undertaking of the overall process (his official unveiling in Randers' Essex Park clearly indicates his possession of a green card) at the very least places him on the edge of our radar. With almost six months remaining until his official start with the Jutland-based club, there is still plenty of time for more details to emerge. In the meantime we'll keep a close eye on the situation and possibly look forward to covering Movsisyan's time in Denmark and beyond