Hat-tip to Dan Covello (follow him: @DanCovello) for getting up early and bringing this morning's news to the attention of Once A Metro: reports out of Ghana suggest 23-year-old striker Abdul Aziz Yusif is on his way to America for a trial with the New York Red Bulls.
The rumor mill has been pushing a Ghana-RBNY connection for some time now. There was the rumor Lloyd Sam might be called up by the Black Stars (still possible). Also the rumors linking Ghana internationals Sulley Muntari, Michael Essien and Kevin-Prince Boateng to moves to the club.
Despite the fact Papa Red Bull has divested his formal connection to Ghanaian soccer, and it is the other New York MLS team that has a supporters' group named in tribute to one of the iconic clubs of West African football, RBNY has become a favored American destination for transfer rumors involving Ghanaian players.
And this is, finally, a rumor that will proved or disproved fairly quickly: Yusif will either be spotted in training in the near future or he won't. It is reported his trial will start on Monday, May 11, and he will be with RBNY for three weeks. He is a free agent, having reportedly left Egypt's Smouha SC (for whom he signed last August) in January.
Yusif was snapped up by Ghanaian Premier League outfit Kumasi Asante Kotoko from Real Tamale United after scoring five goals in 15 appearances in Ghana's top flight. He scored seven times in 23 appearances for Kotoko, and then moved to Egypt, where he managed to find the net once in 14 games for Smouha.
He has yet to make an impact on his national team, though that may be related to the fact that he has played for three different teams over the past three seasons.
From RBNY's perspective, if Yusif is indeed about to start a trial, it indicates the club appreciates the need for attacking options to back up Bradley Wright-Phillips and is casting a wide net in the search for that back-up. Yusif is older and more experienced at the pro level than Anatole Abang, but younger and less traveled than Mike Grella.
The transfer window does not apply to out-of-contract players, so if RBNY wants Yusif, all it needs is the salary cap and roster space required to do so.