Gonzalo Pineda is hoping for a swift response from Atlanta United against New York City FC after a period of “self-reflection” following a disappointing setback in midweek.

United conceded two goals in the final 10 minutes to lose 2-1 at New York Red Bulls on Thursday, making it back-to-back losses in MLS for only the second time this season.

The Five Stripes entered the weekend 11th in the Eastern Conference and face a quick turnaround ahead of their trip to Yankee Stadium on Sunday.

“I would say that past loss has to affect us a little bit,” Pineda said. “It has to invite self-reflection because collectively we did many, many things – if not almost everything – right.

“It was a case of self-reflection, looking at the little details on the specific plays and a lack of concentration. We were winning in the 80th minute.

“That comes after the loss. But then we will come together and look at the good things we did and try to regroup, to have another solid performance against New York City.”

City were involved in an eventful match of their own in midweek as they played out an eight-goal draw with FC Cincinnati – a game they recovered from three goals down to lead at one stage.

The Pigeons are winless in four games, three of those on their travels, and interim head coach Nick Cushing is glad to be back on home soil this weekend.

“Personally, I love Yankee Stadium,” he said. “I love playing in front of our fans and I know the team does.

“I know the team feel at home there and we feel like we can take the game to teams and we can really get the atmosphere and the crowd on our side if we play our football.

“That is the goal on Sunday – to get back home, get back to dominating football games and winning football games.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

New York City FC – Maxi Moralez

Moralez may have missed a penalty in the remarkable 4-4 draw with Cincinnati, but he made amends by assisting three of his side’s four goals.The veteran attacking midfielder now has six assists for the season in MLS, each of those coming in his last eight appearances.

Atlanta United – Josef Martinez

Pineda opted to start with a more defensive line-up for the meeting with Red Bulls last time out, meaning Martinez and Marcelino Moreno were only named among the substitutes. Martinez made his mark after being introduced, however, scoring a little over 10 minutes after being brought on for his fourth goal in nine appearances in the league this campaign.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– New York City FC are unbeaten in their last four matches against Atlanta United (W3 D1), including eliminating the Five Stripes in last season’s playoffs en route to lifting MLS Cup. NYCFC’s three wins in four matches against Atlanta comes after a six-match winless run against them in MLS play (D2 L4, including playoffs).

– City overcame a 3-0 deficit to level the match by half-time in a 4-4 draw at FC Cincinnati on Wednesday. NYCFC are the 16th team in MLS history to avoid defeat in a match after trailing by three goals, and the first since FC Dallas against Montreal in August 2019.

– United have lost five of their past six away matches (D1) following a 2-1 loss to the Red Bulls on Thursday. Over the last two years, the Five Stripes have won just six of their 35 road games (D10 L19, including playoffs).

– With his three assists against Cincinnati, Moralez equaled the most in a single MLS match in team history. Moralez is the first NYCFC player to record three assists in a match twice, also doing so against Cincinnati in 2019.

– Martinez has scored five goals in seven MLS matches against New York City FC (including playoffs) – only Alejandro Pozuelo (7) has scored more since Martinez joined MLS in 2017. Martinez failed to score in his two meetings with NYCFC last season, after scoring four goals in the previous two games.