The Seattle Sounders will face Caribbean champion CD Marathon of Honduras in the group stage of the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League. Groups were determined by a draw Tuesday at CONCACAF offices in New York. The six-round group stage will begin the weekend of July 30-Aug. 3 and conclude Oct. 25. Dates and times will be announced later.
CONCACAF slotted Seattle, one of five MLS teams selected (Los Angeles, Salt Lake and Houston, plus Toronto from Canada), into Group Four. The winner of each group advances to the knockout round. The group stage consists of eight groups of three teams each. The eight group winners advance to the quarterfinal round, where they will be ranked 1-8 based on their results from the Group Stage and paired accordingly.
Seattle faced Marathon in the 2010-11 Champions League, winning 2-0 at home and losing 2-1 on the road.
Sounders FC has participated in the Champions League in the past two years, advancing i to the quarterfinals of the 2011-12 tournament. March 7, the Sounders hosted Santos Laguna (Mexico) in the first of two, aggregate-goal matches at Safeco Field. Seattle won that match 2-1.
In the second match played a week later at Santos, the hosts pulverized Seattle 6-1, eliminating the Sounders from the tournament.
The CONCACAF Champions League is open to the leading teams from federations throughout North America, Central America and the Caribbean.