Managers Gerhard Struber and Hernan Losada get their first taste of one of Major League Soccer's oldest rivalries when the New York Red Bulls visit D.C. United on Sunday evening.
Both teams have improved considerably following slow starts under their respective new bosses.
And they're also two of a growing number of teams placing an enormous amount of emphasis on pressure and transition, which has each camp paying attention to the other.
"D.C. makes I think the last few weeks very good improvements in the development of the team," said Struber, who took over the Red Bulls late last year. "We can see a clear style of play and also in transition moments. In attacking, I think they have some very interesting players, and yeah, they, can create against teams in the league on the top-level good chances."
Struber's Red Bulls (5-5-3, 18 points) have only one loss in their last seven matches, a run that has them one spot out of a playoff berth and one point ahead of D.C (5-7-2, 17 points).
New York became the first (and so far only) MLS team this season to win at Orlando - which it did earlier this month. The Red Bulls followed that up with draws at home against the Philadelphia Union and away to Toronto FC, the respective 2020 Supporters' Shield and Eastern Conference champions.
Cristian Casseres Jr. and Caden Clark each have four goals to lead what is one of the more balanced MLS attacks.
Meanwhile, D.C. United have bounced back from each of their most recent defeats with arguably their best performances.
D.C. United followed a loss to New York City FC with a 7-1 win over Toronto that resulted in the firing of their manager, Chris Armas.
Then after last weekend's 2-1 loss in Philadelphia, D.C. rallied from two goals down late in a 2-2 draw at Chicago on goals from Kevin Paredes and Ola Kamara. The latter leads D.C. with six goals this season.
"When you miss so many opportunities, and still you are two behind, and you have in the back of your head games like New York City and Philadelphia, I can only say congrats to the mentality and the way the team came back," Losada said after the Chicago match.
--Field Level Media