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Let the Countdown to 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League Begin

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SANDY, UT- MAY 01:   Real Salt Lake fans cheer during a game against the Toronto FC in the second half of an MLS soccer game on May 1, 2010 in Sandy, Utah. Real Salt Lake Beat Toronto FC 2-1. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
SANDY, UT- MAY 01: Real Salt Lake fans cheer during a game against the Toronto FC in the second half of an MLS soccer game on May 1, 2010 in Sandy, Utah. Real Salt Lake Beat Toronto FC 2-1. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
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While I didn't nearly feel the attachment to Real Salt Lake that some felt last night, I was still sad to not see them finish the job. However, the thing I take out of the run RSL made, from an FC Dallas standpoint, is that this tournament seems to get bigger and more important each year. And in a few months FC Dallas makes their first foray into legitimate international competition for the first time in well over a decade.

Having qualified by reaching MLS Cup, FC Dallas will enter the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League at the earliest point, with a qualifying round home and home series. Their foe, which will be played in the last week of July and first week of August, will be drawn on May 18th and will come from Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Belize or one of three Caribbean opponents. 

If FCD gets past that opponent, which is hardly a foregone conclusion(Los Angeles fell at this stage last year to Puerto Rico Islanders), they will then go to the group stage and on from there.

I read an interesting tweet earlier lamenting the fact that David Ferreira will be out for FC Dallas through much of the early stages of the Champions League. It got me to thinking though, how much would DF have actually played in the early parts of the tournament? Would FCD have really risked the Colombian against Central American teams that can be dirtier than MLS teams(though not by much)? 

Let the games begin...