Seattle, WA – They don't come much bigger in MLS than Cascadia Cup play, which resumes on Saturday when Vancouver Whitecaps FC heads to CenturyLink Field to face Seattle Sounders FC.
The atmosphere at CenturyLink is always something to herald, but the presence of the heated derby in the Pacific Northwest is sure to elevate it even further.
But for Kenny Miller, who is used to playing in front of the harshest of crowds through his time in Scotland with Celtic and Rangers, there is an added motivation in trying to perform well to silence the home supporters.
"That's what you play football for, to play in that kind of hostile atmosphere," Miller told the club's official website. "You can take it two ways. You can become a shrinking violet and hide from it and let it affect you, or you use it as a motivation to try and silence that crowd.
"Sometimes silence can be just as loud, so if we can go there and get a goal and silence that crowd, it can only be an advantage to us."
Miller silenced a home crowd in his last league outing, scoring seven minutes from time to help the 'Caps to a 2-1 defeat of Red Bull New York.
That win extended Vancouver's unbeaten run to three games. The club hopes to prolong its solid run of form with another positive road result.
"That's what we're focused on doing," head coach Martin Rennie told reporters on Tuesday. "We just want to be winning games, climbing the table. We've had a lot of games against the top teams so far, so we've got to take advantage of the teams coming up that we have a chance to play against."
Vancouver and Seattle come into the clash separated by just two points, meaning that a victory for the 'Caps would bring them one point clear of the Sounders.
Seattle comes into the contest on the back of a comfortable 2-0 defeat of Chivas USA, but the club has been left slightly depleted by the absences of Steve Zakuani and Osvaldo Alonso due to injury.
"It's been tough," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid told the club's official website of Zakuani. "He's had to deal with numerous things in his career and it's another thing he has to deal with."
The injury to Zakuani places more of the attacking burden on Obafemi Martins. The Nigerian striker looked as if he would miss Saturday's clash after picking up a red card in the victory over Chivas, but his suspension was overturned by the league to allow him to return to action.