Frenchman Leandre Griffit is in his fifth week of practice with Columbus and has reached a contract agreement with the Crew and MLS. Griffit, 25, who played seven games during 2 1/2 seasons with Southampton of the English Premier League in 2003-05, is an attacking midfielder.
"We saw him as a little bit different player than the ones we have," said Crew coach Robert Warzycha said. "His vision is good, his shooting is good.
Griffit won the Swedish first division title with IF Elsfsborg in 2005 and later signed with Crystal Palace of the English second division. Last year, he joined a team in the Belgian third division that was based about 20 miles from his home in northern France, where his father was struggling with a serious illness.