A change of scenery did not make a difference for Chivas USA on Sunday, as they traveled to Crew Stadium for the first time in two years to take on the Columbus Crew, but lost 3-0 to the hosts. A pair of second half goals from Justin Meram put the Crew ahead, before Bernardo Anor hit a goal of his own late to put the game out of the Goats' hands.
For the second time this week, Chivas played one decent half and one poor half, only the order was reversed from Wednesday's loss to the Seattle Sounders. The Goats played well enough in the first half, but were handed a major favor just before the break by Federico Higuain, who stepped up to take a penalty caused by Eriq Zavaleta pulling on a Crew player's shirt in the box on a corner kick, only for his PK to clang off the post. As a result, CUSA ended up entering halftime scoreless.
Then, the wheels fell off, as Wilmer Cabrera said after the game that the team "ran out of gas" in the second half. Meram, who has played quite well the past month or so, hit his first goal of the game in the 52nd minute, as he dribbled into the defensive third and hit a great curling shot past Dan Kennedy. He then doubled Columbus' lead seven minutes later, as he intercepted Agustin Pelletieri's poorly-placed square pass, dribbled on goal, and shot it through two collapsing Chivas defenders.
Anor, who came off the bench after sitting the past few games with an injury, headed in a cross from Hector Jimenez in the 80th minute to ensure the visitors weren't getting back in the game.
With the result, Chivas' losing streak stretches to four, and eight of their last nine played, with seven games left in the season. They may have broken the scoreless streak against Seattle, but the losing streak is now the next bad streak they'll need to erase. And their next opponent is...Sporting Kansas City on Friday. That's right, the defending MLS Cup champs, arguably the team that broke Chivas USA's back in 2013 (in May!) is coming up on the schedule next week. On the bright side, I suppose, is the fact that they have also lost their last four in a row, and let in 11 goals in that run, the same as Chivas, but unfortunately this season this CUSA team have been "good" at helping opponents bust slumps. Can they surprise SKC, or will they be cannon fodder to help Sporting get back on track?
Of course, we'll have more coverage of this game against Columbus in the coming days. For now, what do you think? Leave a comment below!