|Scoreboard|||||Match Schedule|||||Standings|||||Teams|||||Player Leaders|
By KATE HEDLIN
(AP) -- The Houston Dynamo have struggled to find an offensive spark during their season-opening road trip. A visit to Columbus may not help.
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 this season.
"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 lineup Saturday.
"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."
Updated April 20, 2012