Depth Chart: Yura Movsisyan ($1,973,750), Luis Silva ($208,670), Chad Barrett ($105,000), Ricardo Velazco ($65,633). Monarchs Players: Chandler Hoffman.
Back to our point before, whoever can finish is who needs to be signed, and is who needs to be seeing time on the field. While Yura Movsisyan is making the big bucks to score goals (he is the team’s leading goal scorer with five), nobody else on the team is finding the back of the net. Simply finishing chances could really turn RSL’s season around, but nobody has been able to do that.
Movsisyan is an interesting case. The fanbase went into a frenzy when it came out before last season that he wanted to come back to SLC. His story and career path are admirable, and it seemed like it was finally going to be the type of signing that would help RSL keep up with some of the names landing around the league. Yura then had a slow start, only scoring once in the first seven matches, then scored five goals in his next 10 appearances, then finished with season with just two more goals in his last 12 outings. This year has been similar, he scored four goals in the first seven matches but has only scored once in the 12 matches since, despite playing in all of them.
With six teams having registered double the amount of goals as RSL, and only five teams within five goals even (DC United is the only team with fewer, with 12), much of the blame for the tepid attack, deserved or not, gets placed on the shoulders of the highly paid striker who is the only player on the team to see time in every match this season.
At the end of the day, scoring goals is what makes or breaks an attacker. Yura has struggled to do that, but Luis Silva isn’t doing any better, Chad Barrett is still injured, and Ricardo Velazco should probably be getting an opportunity at this point because nothing else seems to be working. Being able to move any of them to bring in a new piece is the hard part.
Yura’s salary puts him slightly ahead of league goal leader Nemanja Nikolic of the Chicago Fire, who has 16 goals along with three assists on the season, just behind French winger Romain Alessandrini of the LA Galaxy, who has eight goals and seven assists. Looking just at striker, he makes substantially more than Cyle Larin, Maxi Urruti, Christian Ramirez, Josef Martinez, Cubo Torres, CJ Sapong, and Ola Kamara, who all have at least eight goals along with a handful of assists (*Martinez has seven goals and no assists, but just in eight appearances).
Nikolic may be an outlier and goals can be hard to come by, but RSL is creating plenty of chances that aren’t turning into scores, which means changes need to happen. Finding a team willing to take on a $2 million salary for someone who has only scored once since mid-April is a task all its own. While Silva has yet to register a scoring stat, his salary is a lot more friendly to the cap, and finding someone who can finish chances is a lot easier to do with $2 million instead of $200k.
Given the tall task of finding a team willing to take on a slumping Movsisyan, along with being able to find a good replacement, it would be to everyone’s best interest if he could just start finishing chances and then re-evaluate in the offseason. If something can materialize before then, it would be hard to say no.
Verdict: Unless it’s Movsisyan, the next big time RSL goalscorer likely won’t be on the roster after this summer, but we could definitely see moves that allow him to get here. But seriously, if someone could finish their chances that would be great…