SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC AT CD MARATHON7 p.m. Thursday, Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano; San Pedro Sula, Honduras.TV: Fox Soccer Channel.RADIO: 97.3 FM.ABOUT THIS COMPETITION: CONCACAF Champions League is a tournament involving top clubs from North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Seattle qualified for the preliminary round by winning the 2009 U.S. Open Cup and advanced to group play with an aggregate-score win over Metapan of El Salvador. Marathon qualified by winning the Honduran 2009-10 Apertura. Seattle and Marathon are in Group C, along with Monterrey (Mexico) and Saprissa (Costa Rica). Group play consists of six games, each team in the group playing the other three home and away. The top two finishers in each group will advance to the knockout rounds.ABOUT MARATHON: The club was formed in 1925 as Club Deportivo Marathon. It is now sometimes called “El Monstruo Verde” (the Green Monster). Marathon also competed in the Champions League in 2008-09 and 2009-10. The club has won eight Honduran league titles and one Honduran Cup (1994). The manager is Nicolas Suazo. It’s best-know players include forward Walter Martinez, who played for the 2010 Honduran World Cup team; and defender Erick Norales(((both cq))), who converted the final penalty kick that got Honduras into the 2008 Summer Olympics. NOTES: Seattle is unbeaten in its last nine matches (6-0-3) over all competitions. … Marathon is off to an 0-0-2 start in its Honduran Apertura season. Seattle is 8-8-5 in MLS. … The Sounders have never lost a competitive match outside of MLS, sweeping their Open Cup matches and standing 1-0-1 in Champions League. … Seattle midfielders Steve Zakuani (groin) and Sanna Nyassi (yellow card accumulation) did not make the trip. However, designated player Blaise Nkufo, who didn’t travel to the preliminary match at Metapan, is available. Leading scorer Fredy Montero also traveled despite suffering head and leg injuries in the Saturday league match at Chivas USA. NEXT: Seattle will meet Monterrey in the second game of group play at 7 p.m. July 25 at Qwest Field.
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