Columbus Crew deny reports of adding Costa Rican defender Waylon Francis

Waylon Francis

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USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Crew denied reports out of Central America on Friday that the club has signed left back Waylon Francis from Costa Rican club CS Herediano. 

A Crew spokesman said that the report — which eminated from Costa Rican outlet Al Día — was “completely premature," adding that the team’s roster was full, and no moves would be made until the offseason when roster changes begin.

Francis (above, right) has featured at left back for Herediano in the CONCACAF Champions League, and his club will face Cruz Azul in the group-stage finale on Oct. 22. The Crew official confirmed that the fullback’s exposure in the CCL has drawn the eye of the club, but that nothing is imminent, and that other MLS teams are scouting Francis as well.

After the Crew's training session on Tuesday, interim head coach and technical director Brian Bliss said that he was taking the team’s off weekend to do some scouting and that “a passport will be required.”

The team official was able to confirm that Bliss is traveling to Costa Rica, and said that he may be at a Herediano match, but said that the intent of the trip was not to sign Francis.

Left back has been an inconsistent position for the Crew in recent seasons. Right-footed defenders including Josh Williams and Chad Barson have spent time on the left flank, and Tyson Wahl has spent more time in the center of defense lately on an injury-plagued Crew backline.

Agustín Viana, who began his time with the Crew mainly as a central midfielder, has recently been dispatched on the left with Wahl’s movement inside.