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CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage Takes Shape

Facing a 1-0 deficit heading into the home half the CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round, advancing to the Group Stage is far from a foregone conclusion for the Seattle Sounders. If they get there, though, they'll at least know a home match awaits them.

The CCL released the schedule for the first two rounds of the Group Stage on Thursday. The Sounders learned they will host Guatemalan side Comunicaciones on Aug. 16. They will then visit defending CCL champion Monterrey on Aug. 23. The rest of the schedule will be announced after the preliminary round.

The draw would give the Sounders at least one winnable game early in tournament, something they really didn't have last year when they opened with three of four on the road. Their only home game of those four was against Monterrey. The Sounders opened CCL group stage with a loss at Marathon and followed that up with a loss at home against Monterrey. The Sounders then lost road matches at Saprissa and Monterrey, effectively eliminating them from advancement.

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