Here's a release from the league:
Four teams will carry the banner of Major League Soccer as the CONCACAF Champions League group stage kicks off this week. Defending MLS Cup champions Real Salt Lake and defending U.S. Open Cup winners Seattle Sounders FC make their bow in the competition, while the Columbus Crew and Toronto FC will also compete.
Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC have each been drawn into Group A, along with Arabe Unido (Panama) and Cruz Azul (Mexico). Columbus is in Group B with Santos Laguna (Mexico), Municipal (Guatemala) and Joe Public (Trinidad & Tobago), while Seattle is in Group C with Marathon (Honduras), Monterrey (Mexico) and Saprissa (Costa Rica) in the competition’s so-called “Group of Death.”
Never miss a local story.
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – MATCHDAY 1
Tues, Aug. 17: Toronto FC vs. Cruz Azul (MEX)
Wed., Aug. 18: Columbus Crew vs. Municipal (GUA)
Wed., Aug. 18: Real Salt Lake vs. Arabe Unido (PAN)
Thurs., Aug. 19: Seattle Sounders FC at Marathon (HON)
And here's Sounders coach Sigi Schmid talking about the club's attitude toward this competition:
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for our club. For our players, it gives them an opportunity to get exposure internationally, for the first time in Honduras for many of our guys, guys on our team who have aspirations of maybe one day going on to play for the national teams of their respective countries. Anytime you get into international competition it allows that national team coach to see how you measure up, how you deal playing away from home, how you deal playing against foreign competition. So there are so many pluses to it. As a club, we want to go as far as we can in any competition we enter and we view it as an honor and a privilege, not as a burden.”