The Houston Dynamo have struggled to find an offensive spark
during their season-opening road trip. A visit to Columbus may not
The Dynamo will try for their first win in Columbus since 2007
when they take on the Crew on Saturday night.
Houston is starting the season with a seven-game trip before the
opening of its new park May 12. The Dynamo (2-1-1) began the year
with consecutive 1-0 victories, but the lack of scoring has hurt
the club the last two games.
Following a 2-0 loss at Seattle on March 23, they earned a 1-all
draw at Chicago last Sunday. Houston recorded a season-low five
shots and failed to find the net after Will Bruin’s goal in the
24th minute gave the Dynamo the lead.
Houston wasn’t overly concerned over the lack of offensive
opportunities, given the fact that the game was called in the 66th
minute due to lightning.
“I think we’re happy to step away with the result, but we’re a
competitive team and we always feel we have an opportunity to get
more points,” captain Brian Ching told MLSsoccer.com after
assisting on Bruin’s goal.
Houston is tied for the second-fewest goals in the league with
three, but the Dynamo believe the offense will come with Ching and
Bruin on the field at the same time more often. Both players
struggled to stay healthy last year and combined for 11 scores, but
played only four games together.
“The more we play together, the more we understand each other,”
Ching said. “Will’s making better runs and he understands my
movement more on the field and he’s getting used to it.”
As the Dynamo head into the second half of the trip, they’ll try
to snap a six-game winless streak against the Crew, which includes
an 0-3-1 mark in Columbus. Houston has managed three goals and been
shut out twice in those four contests.
The Crew (2-3-0) are also struggling to find the back of the
net. They’ve lost their last two, most recently falling 1-0 at
Philadelphia last Saturday.
Columbus recorded 10 shots in another lackluster offensive
effort against a then-winless Philadelphia team. The Crew were
coming off a 4-1 loss to New York a week earlier.
Looking to spark the offense, Columbus started rookie Aaron
Schoenfeld in place of Emilio Renteria, who was second on the team
with eight goals last year but has been held off the scoresheet
“Emilio is a good forward, but the last few games, he had no
goals,” coach Robert Warzycha said after the match. “Maybe somebody
else can get lucky and score goals.”
Warzycha has not said whether Renteria will be back in the
“We just need to be a little more high pressure and try to take
the other team out of their comfort zone a little bit,” said
midfielder Eddie Gaven, who scored five goals last season but has
none in 2012. “It’s not always easy to do that for the entire game
because it take a lot of energy.”