On the back of trading away a 22 goal scorer, Columbus Crew SC are still searching for answers offensively. A 1-1 draw with Colorado thanks to a first half goal from Cedrick Mabwati was the first result after the Kei Kamara deal followed up by a 0-0 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday evening.
The lack of goals wasn't equivalent to chances created. The Black & Gold finished the match with 15 shots, five on goal, while Toronto had eight efforts to score.
For TFC, the chances came through 2015 Major League Soccer MVP Sebastian Giovinco. The midfielder maestro had a a crack from the top of the Columbus penalty area just before halftime that forced goalkeeper Steve Clark into a diving save as well as a clearcut chance in the 68th minute when he got in behind the Crew SC defense but missed the goal entirely.
Columbus did a good job of corralling the Italian playmaker, making it the third game in four meetings where Giovinco hasn't scored or assisted on a goal against Crew SC.
For the Black & Gold, it was more a mixed bag of results. Justin Meram, who was Crew SC's best attacking option on the night, had two chance to open the second half. The first came on a 51st minute counterattack led by the winger where he chipped TFC goalkeeper Clint Irwin, but his shot struck off the post. Eight minutes later, Meram cut inside from the wing and fired a shot that forced a save from Irwin. The rebound bounced inside the 18-yard box, but narrowly missed Columbus forward Ola Kamara.
Crew SC goalkeeper Steve Clark came up big on two occasions, both times denying Giovinco from opening the scoring. Clark's efforts, and those of defense that lost center back Gaston Sauro to injury in the 35th minute, earned the third shutout of the season for the Black & Gold.
After struggling on the road through the early portion of the season, a tie at a Toronto team who sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference is a result Columbus will take. Crew SC is still searching for offense and the team's first win since the end of April, but patience is the key word as the Black & Gold look to evolve after the Kamara trade.