Atlanta United will be looking for a victory against a rival they once dominated when they visit Orlando City SC on Wednesday night at Exploria Stadium.
Atlanta won seven of nine games in all competitions in their first three years of meetings against Orlando, which has turned the tables with a win and two draws so far this season.
Of more immediate concern to Atlanta United (5-11-4, 19 points) is their form against everyone else, which has dropped them to 12th in the 14-team Eastern Conference. Interim coach Stephen Glass' squad is winless in its last five and has just two victories in its last 14 matches.
The worst loss may have come in Saturday night's 2-1 home defeat to 13th-place D.C. United. But Glass was at least encouraged by his team's response to D.C. taking a 77th-minute lead, leveling the match late before Gelmin Rivas scored D.C.'s stoppage-time winner.
"When we went behind the other night, you saw a real determination," Glass said. "We were unfortunate not to get one or three points the other night. If that urgency is there from minute one, you give yourself a better opportunity."
Defender Miles Robinson is likely out because he is believed to be the Atlanta player who has recently tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Orlando (8-3-8, 32 points) enters after a 12-match unbeaten run was halted in a 2-1 loss to Inter Miami over the weekend. The Lions' momentum had been slowing, with ties in the last three games of that unbeaten run.
Orlando City has missed the playoffs in each of its first five seasons, but first-year coach Oscar Pareja's group finds itself in the unfamiliar position of having already clinched a spot.
A win could help the fourth-place Lions secure one of the top four spots and a home first-round playoff matchup. The club sit two points in front of fifth-place New York City FC, and three behind third-place Columbus.
"It's important in this situation where we can not only add three points, but win a game that's important," Pareja said. "We're always concentrating where we can be. We would like to be amongst the top two or three in the conference. If we can win against Atlanta, it'll be even better."
--Field Level Media