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Analyzing the CONCACAF Champions League Draw

... and we draw the champions Monterrey. Again.

Here's what it looks like.

Group A
Los Angeles Galaxy (USA)
Alajuelense (CRC)
Winner of Mexican Clausura runner-up/Caribbean club championship runner-up
Winner of Motagua-Municipal

Group B
Colorado Rapids (USA)
Real Espana (HON)
Winner of Santos Laguna-Olimpia
Winner of Metapan-Caribbean club champion

Group C
Mexican Clausura champion
Tauro (PAN)
Winner of Alianza FC-FC Dallas
Winner of Canadian champion/Nicaragua qualifier

Group D
Monterrey (MEX)
Comunicaciones (GUA)
Winner of San Francisco-Seattle
Winner of Herediano/Caribbean club championship third-place finisher

Today was the CONCACAF Champions League draw for the 2011-12 season, and Seattle found out who it will be playing in the preliminary round before moving on to the group stage. As the prelims aren't set to be played until late July, CONCACAF decided to do us all a favor by drawing us in Group D, with last year's champions Monterrey.

In case you guys forgot how poorly Seattle did in the group stage last season (I know I have), Seattle played Monterrey twice, losing 2-0 at home and then 3-2 on the road. The good thing to come out of it was Michael Fucito's heroic away efforts, where he created both goals and attempted to keep the team alive in the group stage. However, Seattle's defense melted down as Monterrey scored three goals in three minutes to effectively end Seattle's Champions League season.

Of course, as you all know, Seattle's group last year was easily the hardest of them all. The two teams that progressed out of the group eventually made it to the semi-finals, and Monterrey were eventual champions against a sturdy Real Salt Lake team looking to be the first MLS team to win the CCL trophy.

Before we can get a chance to exact revenge on Monterrey though, we have to play a two-leg preliminary round against San Francisco. No, not an amateur side from California. Though judging by their team logo, it looks like they are supported by either Jesus or bearded beatniks. Turns out, the team is from La Chorrera, Panama, whose patron saint is the founder of veganism. So, essentially, we are playing a bunch of skinny kids from the bay area.

One thing to note is that San Francisco qualified by winning the Clausura of the Panamanian league. However, the same team was also demolished 9-2 on aggregate by Cruz Azul in the prelimnary round last year, who eventually drew with Real Salt Lake and then lost to, ahem, Monterrey in the semi-finals in a closely contested two-legged round.

If you're thinking that there's something weird or fishy going on, you're most likely right. So, for what it's worth, all mystical signs are pointing towards Michael Fucito besting his epic coming out party of last season and polishing Humberto Suazo's bald head with shiny hat-trick.

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