Armenian striker Yura Movsisyan reportedly interested in returning to MLS

Former Real Salt Lake striker Yura Movsisyan wants to come back to Major League Soccer, according to

A return to Major League Soccer is indeed quite enticing to Yura Movsisyan, his agent confirmed to the Salt Lake Tribune this weekend. The 27-year-old forward who spent two and a half seasons at Real Salt Lake is currently in his third season starring at Spartak Moscow in the Russian Premier League.

“He’s very interested in a return to the MLS,” said Patrick McCabe, Movsisyan’s agent. “It would be a number of options I think he would have, but he’s definitely open-minded at this point. If that’s Salt Lake, OK, or another MLS team, he would certainly be open-minded to pursuing. We’ll have to see what shakes out here within the next few weeks between his club and himself and the other teams that are interested.”

McCabe said Movsisyan still has two more years on his contract at Spartak, which ends in 2017. Movsisyan’s rise in Europe, which started at Danish club Randers after leaving RSL upon helping the club win the 2009 MLS Cup title, saw him move from Randers to Russian Premier League club FC Krasnodar in 2011.

After two largely successful seasons there — scoring 23 goals in 50 appearances — Spartak Moscow completed a reported $9.7 million transfer for the Armenian striker in Dec. 2012. He scored 16 goals in 25 league appearances with Spartak during the 2013-2014 campaign.

“For anybody that knows Yura, there’s nothing more important than family,” McCabe said. “For him I think it’s been difficult to be in Europe for as long as he has for. He and his wife Marianna have two young kids and they’d like to obviously raise them closer to Yura’s family and her family in California. That’s a major consideration I think at this point.

“Yura is driven by family. It’s why he went to Europe to try to provide for them and he’s done a good job of that. Europe is obviously a totally different competitive landscape when you’re dealing with clubs, especially when you’re dealing with Russian clubs.”

Asked if a return to MLS is Movsisyan’s No. 1 priority as they figure out his next move, McCabe was straightforward in saying he isn’t optimistic about Movsisyan staying in Russia.

“I’m hopeful that a return to MLS can be worked out, but I’m also realistic in that I know that it may not,” McCabe said. “I have to plan for a bunch of eventualities here, and one of them is that [a return to MLS] doesn’t work out. I think if you asked [Yura], I think that would be his first choice, but we’ve had approaches in the past from other MLS teams, so we know that it may or may not happen.”

Movsisyan’s first two years in MLS were with the Kansas City Wizards where he didn’t see that much time, scoring five goals in 28 appearances. In Sept. 2007, former RSL general managerGarth Lagerwey struck his first deal in his new position by trading for Movsisyan.

While at RSL, Movsisyan flourished. He scored 15 goals in 53 appearances, including having a hand in the equalizing goal in the 2009 MLS Cup final against the L.A. Galaxy at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash. Per MLS roster regulation, RSL still holds Movsisyan’s MLS rights should he choose to return to the league. A club retains the rights to a player indefinitely following the expiration of a contract, provided the club extending a contract offer, which RSL did before Movsisyan left for Europe in 2010.