Barely a week into his Chicago Fire tenure, forward Yura Movsisyan is already feeling settled in.
“It’s been really awesome,” he said. “It started with a bang, a win, so all positivity, positive energy. I’m super excited.”
Movsisyan joined the Fire on September 14 having most recently spent time on loan with Swedish first-division side Djurgårdens IF, where he appeared in four matches during their 2017-18 campaign.
An established goal-scorer in MLS and in Europe, the 31-year-old Armenian international is looking to bring another element to the Fire attack alongside fellow forward Nemanja Nikolić. Movsisyan has scored 118 goals over 12 years for club and country, and is looking to quickly regain his fitness and contribute to the Fire’s final six regular season matches.
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“I’ve trained this whole week with the team,” he said. “I’m getting better and feeling better. Obviously it’s going to take a little bit of time, but the best way (to get fit) is with full trainings with the team. I feel great. I’m getting used to the team and getting used to the players, to the atmosphere, but all positive.”
Movsisyan admitted he was surprised when he got the call from the Fire, but is no less excited about the opportunity now in front of him.
“I’ve always said Chicago is the most beautiful city in America," he said. "I’ve always loved Chicago -- the history, the downtown, the beauty of the city with the water -- so it was all positivity. It was really good to come in and get to know the team. Everything has just been great.”
As for prior experiences at Toyota Park, Movsisyan started and played 72 minutes in a memorable conference final meeting between Real Salt Lake and the Fire during the 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs. Movsisyan, a 22-year-old at the time, was subbed out prior to extra time and the subsequent penalty kick shootout, in which RSL ultimately prevailed, 5-4.
“It was a packed stadium, it was freezing," he recalled. "That’s the biggest thing I remember -- how cold it was. In my first stint in MLS, every single game in Chicago was a battle. The team they had with (Cuauhtemoc) Blanco, Brian McBride, you can name all of them. Just legends. For me, being a young guy and playing against all these veterans and legends, it was just amazing. I have really, really good memories here.”
Movsisyan and RSL would go on to win MLS Cup that season, defeating LA Galaxy in the final. Now on the other side of that frigid November meeting in 2009, Movsisyan is hoping to provide a lift to the club ahead of its Saturday trip to New England to take on the Revolution (6:30 p.m. CT, ESPN+).
“I believe this team has the ability and the talent to come up with amazing stuff,” he said. “We started that this week with 4-0. Hopefully we go to Boston this week and continue that. We can just worry about one game at a time and see where that takes us.”