The Seattle Sounders learned their opponent in the CONCACAF Champions League Preliminary Round today and they will have a huge road trip down to Panama to face San Fransisco. The trip will be a whopping 3670 miles added onto Seattle's already generally high travel distance. The Panamanian club were champions of the 2011 Clasura, but only due to success in the Playoffs. They were 2nd during the regular season. The club finished first on their annual aggregate table.
If Seattle advances past the Prelims their Group D has a familiar and powerful opponent - Monterrey. First time CCL entry Herediano of Costa Rica will face the Caribbean third place finisher and CD Comunicaciones of Guatemala rounds out the group.
It is hard to show a coefficient based strength of group yet due to the Caribbean championships still being contested, but this draw only has one great team in it and offers Seattle a much better chance to advance past the Group Stage than last CCL.
Here is what we know of the path right now
If Seattle is going to make a run, it will have to get at least 5 points at home and at least 3 on the road. If the Puerto Rico Islanders windup as the entry the group gets much tougher.