MLS Rumors rated the Jay-Jay Okocha to Columbus Crew rumor as a 5. But a Columbus Dispatch article on Sigi Schmid’s pre-season machinations looks to have scuttled that one. The relevant passage straight from the horse’s mouth:
“The Crew had been linked with Nigerian standout Jay-Jay Okocha of Hull City in England, but Schmid said ‘we’re not one of the teams talking to him.'”
“‘Jay-Jay is a more of an attacking midfielder,’ Schmid said, and with Guillermo Barros Schelotto set to return, that is not what the club is after.”
Yeah, this could be intended to throw people off the scent, but the logic adds up pretty neatly. As for what the Crew has arranged, here’s Shawn Mitchell’s piece again:
“Schmid said three Brazilians and an African will be in camp with the Crew as nonroster trialists when the preseason begins later this month. One is a forward, one a “left-sided player” and two are central midfielders.”
It also sounds like there’s something still in the works between the Crew and the New England Revolution. It could be the thing involving Avery John, but gain, the language in the Dispatch piece – “a deal is in the works because the Crew placed a discovery tag on a foreign player the Revolution is interested in signing” – suggests the structure may not be what they described…and, for the record, I won’t ding them for getting crossed on the details.