Less than a week removed from helping Real Salt Lake to the MLS championship, Yura Movsisyan is already beginning the next chapter of his career.
Movsisyan arrived in Denmark this morning for a 10-day visit to get his housing situated before his impending transfer to his new club, Randers FC, in January.
It won't be the only life-changing experience for the former RSL striker. His wife Marianna is due to have the couple's first child in late December in California, and after about a month, mom and baby will move to Europe to join Movsisyan.
Movsisyan is leaving RSL on good terms.
"These fans, this team, this club has given me a lot, has given me my break, given me everything that I have. It's given me really good memories," said Movsisyan earlier this month in the midst of RSL's playoff run.
He probably won't find the memories quite so good in Denmark, at least initially.
When Movsisyan signed a pre-contract with Randers FC earlier this summer, he was joining a team that was coming off a fifth-place finish in the Danish first division. Midway through this season, though, Randers is floundering without Movsisyan. Midway through the campaign, Randers owns an 0-4-12 record and is 14 points below the relegation zone.
There will be immediate pressure on Movsisyan when he arrives to help turn things around.
"The pressure's always there, especially in Europe," said Movsisyan. "I feel good and confident in what I can do. I just need to go in and do the same thing I do here, which is score goals."
At this point, Randers' management is probably second-guessing itself for not paying a transfer fee to Major League Soccer earlier this summer to acquire Movsisyan's services right away.
As for the speculation that Movsisyan has an opt-out clause in his three-year contract if Randers drops to the second division, he says that's not true.
Baring an epic turnaround, though, Randers likely won't be able to afford Movsisyan's contract as a second-division team in the 2010-11 season. At that point, it will try and shop him to another team in Europe, or even possibly back to MLS.
"If in the future anything comes up, then we'll think about it when it comes up," said Movsisyan about a possible return to Real Salt Lake.
Coach Jason Kreis said as long as he's a coach, Movsisyan will always have a spot on his team.
Kreis, the former career scoring leader in MLS history, also acknowledges that things are going to be very tough for Movsisyan with Randers this season.12 comments on this story
"Yura is a fantastic player that has potential that's through the roof and has the potential to be an extremely successful player in Europe. Having said that, he's going to a club that's struggling, and I know what it's like to be a forward on a club that struggles. It can be very, very difficult," said Kreis. "He'll have one, maybe two chances a game. He's going to have to be at his absolute best if he wants to succeed right away and move onto a bigger club."
At least Movsisyan tasted a championship before leaving for a potentially bad situation in Europe.