The Dynamo made five changes to the starting XI at Columbus, but were forced to toss the game plan out the window after just 18 minutes. GK Tyler Deric made his first start of the season, but his night came to a premature end when he was sent off in the 18th minute.

Deric brought down Columbus MF Federico Higuain inside the penalty area and referee Kevin Stott decided it was a denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and showed Deric a red card. Former Dynamo F Kei Kamara converted the ensuing penalty to give Columbus an early 1-0 lead. Columbus GK Steve Clark made the lead stand up as the Dynamo fell to 1-4-2 on the year.

Houston started strong and had a pair of dangerous chances within the first 10 minutes. Barnes slipped in behind the Crew defense and forced a save from Columbus GK Steve Clark in the fifth minute, and four minutes later MF Ricardo Clark fired from outside the box and saw his shot deflected up and off the crossbar.

Following Deric’s dismissal, the Dynamo removed MF Collen Warner to allow GK Joe Willis to come on, and the lineup shifted from a 4-5-1 to a 4-4-1 formation. Clark, in his 200th career start for the Dynamo, and MF Alex picked up the slack in the center of the pitch in Warner’s absence, providing cover in front of a back line that absorbed pressure throughout the final 70 minutes.

In addition to Deric, three other players made their season debuts for the Dynamo: Warner, D Sheanon Williams, D Agus. Warner and Williams each saw their first game action after dealing with hamstring injuries suffered in preseason, and while Warner’s night ended prematurely, Williams played 75 minutes before subbing out. Agus, a veteran of Spain’s Segunda B who joined the Dynamo in January, went the distance on the back line and nearly found the net on a corner kick early in the second half.

Before returning home to play rivals Sporting Kansas City on May 7, the Dynamo visit Real Salt Lake next Saturday in a match that will be streamed on HoustonDynamo.com.