FC Dallas plays their first CONCACAF Champions League game Thursday night in San Salvador against El Salvador national league winner Alianzia FC in an attempt to qualify for the competition's group stage. Dallas will host Alianza in a return engagement on August 3, but the Hoops can put themselves in comfortable position to advance with a strong road performance.
Texan and emerging star Brek Shea will lead the way for Dallas, after being elected to Wednesday's MLS vs. Manchester United all-star game, but being unable to play in New York because of the CCL tie. Alianzia will also be without a star who helped them qualify for the play-in round, as they sold Rodolfo to a Russian club after his strong Gold Cup performance.
If Dallas advances they will join a group that includes FC Toronto (assuming Toronto can handle a Nicaraguan side), Mexican side Pumas UNAM and Tauro FC (Panama) and would be co-favoriates, along with Pumas, to advance to the knockout stage.
You can see the game at 9:00 CDT on Fox Soccer Channel. For more on the match, check out game previews by Big D Soccer, SB Nation, MLSSoccer.com and ESPN Dallas.