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Seattle Sounders To Face Panama's San Francisco FC In CONCACAF Champions League Preliminary Round

The Seattle Sounders have drawn Liga Panameña de Fútbol side San Francisco FC in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round.. The winner of the two-legged tie will advance to the CCL group stage. The first leg will be held sometime between the 26th and 28th of July with the second leg to be played between the 2nd and 4th of August. The Sounders defeated El Salvador's Metapán by an aggregate score of 2-1 to advance to the group stage of the 2010-2011 CCL.

This is San Francisco FC's fourth consecutive appearance in the CCL, qualifying by virtue of being the champions of the 2011 LPF Clausura playoff. San Francisco were eliminated in the preliminary round last season by Mexico's Cruz Azul by an aggregate score of 9-2. In their previous three CCL appearances, San Francisco have advanced to the group stage just once, in 2008-09, drawing twice and losing four. San Francisco rely on a very potent attack to earn results and are capable of putting up some gaudy numbers, but a suspect defense prevents them from being a truly elite continental power. Still, if the Sounders have not addressed their goal-scoring issues by the time the fixture rolls around, a trip to the CCL group stage could be significantly tougher than previously thought.

Should the Sounders manage to advance to the group stage, they'll face a familiar foe in defending CCL Champions Monterrey, who beat the Sounders twice in the same stage of last year's tournament. Also drawn into Seattle potential group were Guatemalan champions C.S.D. Comunicaciones. The last of the four teams in the group will be the winner of a match between CS Herediano and the third-placed finisher in the Caribbean Club Championship, one of Puerto Rico Islanders, Alpha United (Guyana), Tempete FC (Haiti) or Belize Defense Force FC. While Monterrey cast a large shadow over the group, the rest of the teams aren't nearly as strong as the Sounders draw last season.