ATLANTA — Atlanta United returns to action Friday as it travels to face Orlando City SC at Exploria Stadium as part of Major League Soccer’s Heineken Rivalry Week.
The match is set to kick-off at 8 p.m.
Atlanta enters the match in first place in the Eastern Conference standings, while Orlando sits just below the playoff line in eighth place. Atlanta owns a 5-0-2 all-time record against the Lions in league play, including a 3-0-0 record in Orlando.
This will be the team’s second meeting in MLS play this season after Atlanta won the first match 1-0 May 12 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium as Gonzálo Martinez scored the game’s only goal. The two teams played earlier this month in a U.S. Open Cup semifinal matchup at Exploria Stadium that Atlanta won 2-0 behind goals from Eric Remedi and Emerson Hyndman to advance to the final, which it will host against Minnesota United FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Aug. 27.
In its last league match, Atlanta defeated Portland Timbers 2-0 Aug. 18 at Providence Park behind goals from Leandro González Pirez and Josef Martinez, who extended his scoring streak to a record 11 consecutive MLS matches. Brad Guzan recorded his league-high 12th clean sheet this season as Atlanta jumped into first place in the Eastern Conference. Julian Gressel has recorded at least one assist in five of the last six matches and leads the team with nine on the season.
Orlando is unbeaten in its last four matches and is coming off a 1-1 draw against Minnesota United FC on Saturday. Nani converted from the penalty spot for his ninth goal of the season, tied with Tesho Akindele for a team-high, and also leads the Lions with eight assists. Orlando is 6-6-1 at home this season.