D.C. United ended last season on a roll with a 10-game unbeaten streak over the last two months and then kept the momentum going, starting this season with a flourish by beating Atlanta United.
After knocking off the defending champions last weekend, D.C will set its sights on another elite team in the Eastern Conference on Sunday afternoon when it visits New York City FC.
D.C. finished last season by going 7-0-3 to earn fourth place in the East and a date in the knockout round of the playoffs with Columbus. D.C. earned its 2-0 win last Sunday on a rainy field at home when Paul Arriola and Luciano Acosta scored.
Acosta also assisted on Arriola's goal and the duo will attempt to give D.C. its first 2-0 start since 1999. Wayne Rooney also had the secondary assist on Arriola's tally by executing a flawless corner kick.
"I was calm," Acosta said. "Started off calm and it's an important game against the former champions, current champions. We had to prepare responsibly and be responsible on the field from the beginning. It was our first big test and I was happy to score."
NYCFC also scored two goals in its opener but unlike D.C. United, it was unable to protect a two-goal lead and settled for a 2-2 draw at Orlando City on March 2.
In their first game without David Villa, who signed with a team in Japan, Ebenezer Ofori and Alex Ring scored first-half goals but NYCFC allowed two late goals in a game where Orlando City controlled most of the play.
NYCFC is 3-0-1 in home openers since entering the league as an expansion team in 2015.
"They have Acosta and Rooney, good players obviously, but I'll be honest with you, we're NYCFC, we're playing at home, I'm not thinking too much about D.C. United more than the respect every opponent deserves," Ring said. "They know when they come to Yankee Stadium it's not going to be an easy game for them either."
Saturday will be the 10th all-time meeting between the teams in a series where the home team usually wins.
The all-time series is 4-4-1 and last season, NYCFC settled for a 1-1 tie at home on Sept. 8 while Rooney and Acosta scored in D.C.'s 3-1 home win on Oct. 21