Caledonia AIA (Trinidad and Tobago) vs. Marathon (Honduras) - Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. ET
While they did well to stay within two of the Seattle Sounders in their opener, Caledonia don't have much of a chance in this group. They are well out of their depth, but Marathon's attack is not going to scare anyone, even Caledonia. That means a scoreless draw could be in the offing, which would make the Sounders very, very happy.
Seattle represents what’s possible for American soccer.
"It's going to be fun," said the 29-year-old, who played for three MLS teams from 2002 to '09. "I got loaned out to the Sounders when I was 20 years old [in 2003]. I love that city, and I think they've done wonders. And if you're asking me if I'm excited to play against a coach who once told me I should try to pick a different profession ...."
The four-year-old competition will remain a 24-club tournament, but instead of an initial knockout phase of 16 teams, all qualifiers will proceed to a main stage of eight, three-team groups, from which only the winners will advance to the quarterfinals.
The knockout, or Championship Round, will not be altered.
It is expected that the Seattle Sounders get past San Francisco in the preliminary stage and they probably step forward as second favorites. The group isn't too strong, but what could determine Seattle's fate though is how they perform in the next few months in MLS. If, like last season, they need a late season push to make the MLS Playoffs, the Champions League becomes an afterthought for them.