After a bright opening 45 minutes of play that saw defender Andy Iro score his second career goal, the Columbus Crew went a man down and ultimately fell to Chivas USA, 2-1, at the Home Depot Center on Sunday.
The Crew played a cagey match against the home side, relying on the strong play and leadership of Guillermo Barros Schelotto. After going down 1-0 in the 25th minute to an Atiba Harris goal, Columbus rallied to even the score at 1-1 in the 37th minute when Iro knocked a cross from Emmanuel Ekpo past Chivas 'keeper Zach Thornton.
Eduardo Lillingston put Chivas ahead after the break, then Iro was called for a straight red card in the 54th minute for a tackle on Chivas USA's Carey Talley, leaving the Crew down a man down. Columbus battled valiantly, but was unable to score an equalizer.
The Crew nearly did get the tying goal in the 66th minute when Gaven broke free on the right flank and sent a line drive across the six-yard box. Schelotto slipped his defender and got onto the end of it, but sent a low header just wide of the Chivas USA net.
The Crew is now 0-2-1 on the road this season.
Sunday's match marked the Crew's first return to The Home Depot Center since winning MLS Cup 2008 there on Nov. 23.
The Crew was without defender Frankie Hejduk, who was still experiencing some stiffness and soreness following Wednesday's U.S. National Team victory over Trinidad & Tobago, and forward Jason Garey, who suffered a sprained ankle Thursday at Salt Lake.
The Crew returns to action this Saturday, April 11, vs. Colorado at Crew Stadium. The match will be televised live regionally on ONN-TV at 7:30 p.m. (ET).