A quick preview of tonight's CONCACAF group stage opener:
COMUNICACIONES (GUATEMALA) AT SOUNDERS FC7 p.m., CenturyLink Field.TV: Fox Soccer. RADIO: 97.3 FM.HEAD TO HEAD: First meeting. NOTES: This is each team’s first match in the group stage of CONCACAF Champions League. The other teams in Group D are Monterrey (Mexico) and Herediano (Costa Rica). Each team will play the other three clubs home and away, and the top two teams in the group will advance to the tournament’s knockout round. …Seattle is 11-5-9 in Major League Soccer. Comunicaciones is off to a 3-1-1 start in this Guatemalan season. … The Comunicaciones coach is Ivan Franco Sopegno. The club features five players who represented Guatemala in the CONCACAF Gold Cup: defenders Carlos Castrillo and Elias Vasquez, midfielder Jose Javier Del Aguila, forward Jairo Arreola, and goalkeeper Juan Paredes, while defender Adolfo Machado played for Panama. … The club was founded in 1949 in Guatemala City. Nicknamed “The Creams,” they are considered the second most successful club in Guatemala, behind rival Municipal. … Comunicaciones qualified for Champions League by winning the 2010 Guatemalan Aperture and the 2011 Clausura championships. Seattle qualified by winning the 2010 U.S. Open Cup and then advanced from the preliminary round by a 2-1 two-game aggregate-score victory over San Francisco of Panama. … Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso is ineligible due to yellow cards in the preliminary round. QUOTABLE: “(Comunicaciones is) a pretty active, pretty energetic team. They’ve got some good team speed. The majority of their players are in that good age, between like 23-26. Having seen them play a few years ago, they seem to definitely be an improved team: a lot of energy and they play with a lot of desire. … They’ve got some flank players who are quick and can dribble.” – Sounders coach Sigi Schmid.NEXT: The Sounders return to league play at 6 p.m. Saturday at FC Dallas. Their next Champions League match is 5 p.m. Aug. 23 at Monterrey.