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(Photo: courtesy AP)
SANDY -- Real Salt Lake forward Yura Movsisyan was voted Major League Soccer's Player of the Week for Week 19 of the 2009 season. Movsisyan came off the bench at halftime of last Friday's match at Rio Tinto Stadium against FC Dallas and scored twice to help Real Salt Lake rally back to record its first-ever win in franchise history after falling behind by two goals. He beat out goalkeepers Matt Reis (New England Revolution) and Jon Busch (Chicago Fire) to capture the top spot in Player of the Week voting.
FC Dallas jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first 21 minutes of the game on goals from former Real Salt Lake forward Jeff Cunningham and Dave van den Bergh, but in the second half Movsisyan sparked the home team's comeback, netting the first of his two goals in the 55th minute when he caught the FC Dallas defense off guard. Movsisyan chased down a through-ball from MF Will Johnson, found himself one-on-one with FC Dallas goalkeeper Ray Burse, and pushed the ball by to cut the FC Dallas lead in half.
Robbie Findley scored the equalizer on a penalty kick in the 62nd minute, and FC Dallas defender Daniel Torres knocked in an own goal in the 88th minute to give Real Salt Lake a 3-2 lead late in the game. Movsisyan struck again in the 93rd minute when he took the ball at midfield and used pure speed to split two FC Dallas defenders before putting another shot past Burse. Movsisyan's third career two-goal performance sealed the win for Real Salt Lake and helped improve the club's record to 6-7-5 and 23 points. Movsisyan is currently second on the team with six goals scored, just one goal shy of the team-leading seven he netted in 2008, and is part of a nine-way logjam for 10th place on the League's Budweiser Golden Boot chart.
This is the second MLS Player of the Week award for a member of Real Salt Lake this season, joining MF Javier Morales' honor received three months ago to the day back on April 27 (Week 6). This marks the second such award for the 21-year-old from Pasadena City, Calif., his first Player of the Week nod coming after he notched the game-winning goal in the final minute of regulation in Real Salt Lake's 2008 Western Conference Semifinal match versus Chivas USA last November. Now in his second full season with Real Salt Lake, Movsisyan has scored 13 goals for the club and is currently fourth on the team's all-time scoring list. Movsisyan and Real Salt Lake are back in action this Saturday, Aug. 1, when they face the Chicago Fire on the road at 6:30 p.m. MT.
The Major League Soccer Player of the Week is selected each week of the MLS regular season by a panel of journalists from The North American Soccer Reporters (NASR). The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information and membership information can be found at www.soccerreporters.com.
(Courtesy Real Salt Lake)