New York dominated the action, but saw its five-game winning streak halted. Chivas USA is unbeaten in its last three games after going through a three-game losing streak.
Juan Pablo Angel scored on a volley to give Chivas USA a lead early in the second half.
New York (8-3-3) boosted its lead at the top of the Eastern Conference to three points over D.C. United. Chivas USA (4-6-3) began the night in sixth place in the West.
New York almost won it in the 83rd minute when Dax McCarty beat goalkeeper Dan Kennedy with a header, but the ball was swept off the line by defender Ante Jazic.