Tuesday, August 03, 2010 |
He skipped out on MLS to head to Europe, is not even USMNT-eligible yet, and plays in a league with none of the cache of the Prem or Bundesliga; but Yura Movisisyan is a player US fans should keep a vigilant eye on as the next cycle of international soccer begins.
Yura scores goals, and is doing so with regularity at Randers in Denmark. A brace in Europa League play last week is the latest feather in his cap; at 23, Movisisyan appears to be hitting his prime. Better yet, he's in the process of obtaining his US citizenship and hopes to play for the US National Team in the near future.
I was sad to see Movsisyan leave MLS for a lower-tier European league at the end of 2009. The league suffers when young players of his caliber leave for nothing; that being said, Denmark is clearly suiting him. Movisisyan has twelve goals in twenty appearances for Randers, and helped the club avoid relegation last year. In four MLS seasons, he scored a total of just twenty league goals. Whether that improvement is growing confidence or a playing style better fitting of his abilities, it represents a step forward for a player who cut his teeth in America. If he can continue to score, perhaps a move to a better league is on the not-too-distant horizon.
Movsisyan is a dangerous forward with a high level of skill and the ability to create chances for himself; after a World Cup in which the US relied on midfielders to drive the offense and started forwards dependent on others to get them the ball in dangerous positions, a player like Movsisyan could help immensely. If nothing else, a developing Movsisyan gives the US another option of a player that knows how to score. Bob Bradley or successor are not in a position to discount anyone with the scoring record Movsisyan has put together.
I talked up Sacha Kljestan's move to Belgium because the midfielder has creative abilities lacking in the US talent pool; meanwhile, Movsisyan is younger, plays a position where the US is weaker, and has none of the recent stop-start history of Kljestan's career. If Movsisyan was already eligible, he'd likely have a number of caps at this point. With the length of the citizenship process unclear (it will certainly take longer now that he's living out of the country), we can only hope that Yura doesn't get the itch to start his international career and accepts a call up for Armenia (or less likely, Azerbaijan), or that he is somehow lost in the shuffle and forgotten about when he finally becomes eligible.
But if he keeps scoring, it's hard to imagine he won't get his shot in a USA shirt.