The Columbus Crew can’t be accused of being shy about firing away at opposing goalkeepers.
Scoring is another matter as Columbus (3-3-1) tries to break a three-game losing streak and a 241-minute goalless drought when New England (3-2-1) visits Mapfre Stadium on Saturday.
The Crew has lost the past two matches by 1-0 scores at Chicago and D.C. United despite outshooting them by a combined total of 45-10. Those 45 shots are the most taken in consecutive games in league history without scoring.
“We like our team and we know when we play well and to the best of our ability we have a good chance of winning a lot of games,” Crew coach Gregg Berhalter said, though he acknowledged, “You don’t lose three games in a row and stay 100 percent confident.”
The losing skid started with a 2-1 home loss to Vancouver on March 31. The Crew has not lost two straight at home since the 2015 MLS Cup and the 2016 home opener, a span of 38 games including playoffs.
New England is 1-1-0 on the road and can double its away total from last season in the homecoming for first-year coach Brad Friedel, the Ohio native who played for the Crew in 1996 and ‘97 before embarking on a long career in England.
Revolution assistant coach Mike Lapper played 121 games for the Crew from 1997-2002 and was an assistant coach there from 2005-13, including 2008 when Columbus won the MLS Cup.
“It’ll be nice to go there and coach against them, and I think it’ll be a fun evening for everyone to watch,” Friedel said.
New England will be without midfielder Kelyn Rowe for a second straight match. He sustained a knee injury in training last week and could be out one to four weeks.
—Field Level Media