Sounders FC draw Panama's San Francisco FC

The pairings were determined by a draw held Wednesday at the CONCACAF offices in New York.

RENTON, WASH. - Seattle Sounders FC will face Panama's San Francisco FC in the Preliminary Round of the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League. The pairings were determined by a draw held Wednesday at the CONCACAF offices in New York.

The first leg of the Preliminary Round will be July 26-28 with the second leg August 2-4. The winners advance to the six-round Group Stage, which will begin August 16-18 and conclude October 18-20.

The Sounders FC-San Francisco FC winner will advance to Group D, joining defending Champions League winner CF Monterrey (Mexico), CD Comunicaciones (Guatemala) and the winner of the preliminary round matchup between CS Herediano (Costa Rica) and the Caribbean Club championship third-place finisher. The CFU Club Champions Cup semifinals are set for May 25 with the championship and third-place match two days later.

Seattle won its 2010-11 Preliminary Round series with El Salvador's Isidro Metapan, 2-1 on aggregate, and later finished fourth in its group, which included Monterrey. San Francisco lost to Mexico's Cruz Azul, 9-2 on aggregate, in the Preliminary Round.

Sounders FC would play its home match on the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field. Competition dates and ticket information will be announced soon.

Seattle earned a berth in the Champions League Preliminary round by virtue of winning the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

FC Dallas, last season's MLS Cup finalist, will also participate in the Preliminary Round. Supporters' Shield winner L.A Galaxy and MLS Cup winner Colorado Rapids have berths in the Group Stage.

The CONCACAF Champions League is open to the leading teams from federations throughout North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

Monterrey won the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League last month, defeating Real Salt Lake, 3-2 on aggregate.