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How important is the CONCACAF Champions League for FC Dallas?

FC Dallas will be competing in the regional tournament for the second time in club history.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

By virtue of last season's exceptional regular season performance which saw FC Dallas top the Western Conference standings, the Hoops will be playing in the 2016-17 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League, North America's premier club competition. It'll be only the second time that Dallas will participate in this tournament, the first coming in the 2011-12 season where the club exited early in the group stage.

It's an opportunity for this exciting, vibrant Dallas team to show what they can do on the continental stage and test themselves in a competition that's been dominated by Liga MX clubs for the last decade. Oscar Pareja has already underlined the significance of competing in this cup and has already made clear that FCD will be taking it very seriously from the start.

Pareja has also made clear that the squad will need to strengthen accordingly if Dallas is to compete on every front and that prioritizing one competition for another should not be an option. He's also made clear that he's looking to establish a winning mentality at the club which not only must make winning the MLS Cup a long term goal, but also making some real progress in the Champions League as well.

The Champions League though won't actually commence for Dallas until August by which more than three-fourths of the MLS regular season schedule will be completed, the U.S. Open Cup will also be in its final stages, and most importantly, the brutal summer heat in Texas will almost be over with, or at least the brunt of it. It's difficult to project just what kind of situation the team will find itself in by then and how good or bad of a position Dallas will be in league-wise and how that'll affect Pareja's approach for this tournament, but we do know for a fact that, according to the manager, FCD are in it to win it and will not hold anything back.

As things stand, Dallas's squad has 23 registered players with at least two more expected to be integrated into the roster from the drafted and players on trial. The player cap is at 28, and with the departures of Blas Perez and Je-Vaughn Watson confirmed in the last week, it remains to be seen what and if any further transfer work will be done now or left until the summer.

Considering how important those two players were to the team, it's a safe bet to make that both will be replaced sooner or later and having those extra bodies around could make all the difference in balancing priorities as Dallas will look to go one further this year in the MLS Cup playoffs and win it as well as looking to make headwaves in the Champions League too. One thing is for sure, it promises to be an exciting year in store for all those close to the club.