A lack of offense has plagued the Columbus Crew during their current winless stretch.
That’s certainly been an issue when facing Sporting Kansas City of late.
An owner of three straight shutout victories in the series, Kansas City looks to continue that streak while trying for a fifth consecutive win over the host Crew on Wednesday night.
Kansas City (8-5-5) has outscored Columbus 9-2 during its four-match winning streak, and has not yielded a goal in this series for 307 minutes. Jacob Peterson scored in the 10th minute and Claudio Bieler added a goal in stoppage time of Sporting’s 2-0 home victory over the Crew (4-6-8) on May 4.
In the midst of a 2-0-1 run at Columbus, the reigning MLS Cup champions will try to extend their overall road winning streak to four games. A victory also would move Kansas City into first place in the Eastern Conference by one point over D.C. United.
"Obviously you want to win your home games, but if you can steal points on the road, it’s going to make your season," goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum told the league’s official website. "We have to take care of business each night, we have to be on and if we play our game we can go anywhere and win."
Dom Dwyer scored early and late in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Montreal that improved Kansas City to 3-0-1 since an 0-3-2 stretch. Second in the league with 14 goals, Dwyer has scored three times in the last two matches.
"He is a handful," Kansas City coach Peter Vermes said. "He’s got a work ethic that is incredible and at the same time an incredible hunger to score goals.
"He really doesn’t stop until you take him off the field. His hunger and his courage are two things that win the day for him."
Dwyer has failed to register a goal in three career matches versus Columbus, which has totaled five during an 0-2-4 stretch.
Rookie Adam Bedell scored his first MLS goal in Saturday’s 4-1 loss at New York that dropped the Crew to 1-6-8 since opening the season with three straight victories.
"We’ve got to pick ourselves up and move on," coach Gregg Berhalter said. "We put this game behind us. It’s over, as of now, and we’re moving forward. The message to the guys is, ‘Let’s not talk about it, let’s do it.’"
At 6-foot-7, Bedell is the tallest player in MLS history and with that stature brings plenty of potential the Crew hope to see the rest of the season.
"He’s a good finisher, and we need to keep creating opportunities for him because he can finish," Berhalter said.