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Thursday, August 4, 2011
CCL: Motagua, Morelia in Galaxy's group

By Scott French

The Galaxy's task in the CONCACAF Champions League got tougher this week: Honduran champion Motagua and Mexican runner-up Morelia joined their group for the tournament's first stage.


The clubs completed as expected preliminary-round romps this week to snare spots in Group A, which looks like this event's “Group of Death.”

Motagua, which will face the Galaxy in a group opener Aug. 16 at Home Depot Center, cruised Thursday night through a 2-0 loss to Guatemala's Municipal, a virtually meaningless match after the Hondurans' 4-0 rout in last week's first leg.

Morelia had it easier, destroying Haitian champ TempÍte over two home legs. The Monarcas won, 5-0, in its official home game last week, then won, 2-0, Wednesday night -- with the Haitians playing their home game in Morelia because CONCACAF ruled that their stadium, damaged in last year's earthquake, did not meet standards.

Costa Rican champ Alajuelense completes the Group A quartet and will make its HDC appearance on Aug. 25. The schedule for the final four group-stage rounds has not been released.

All three MLS clubs in preliminary-round action -- FC Dallas, Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC -- qualified for the group stage.

Group play will run through Oct. 20, with the top two in each of four groups advancing to next year's quarterfinals.

Here are the groups:

GROUP A
Galaxy (USA)
Alajuelense (Costa Rica)
Morelia (Mexico)
Motagua (Honduras)

GROUP B
Colorado Rapids (USA)
Real EspaŮa (Honduras)
Santos Laguna (Mexico)
Isidro Metapan (El Salvador)

GROUP C
Pumas UNAM (Mexico)
Tauro (Panama)
FC Dallas (USA)
Toronto FC (Canada)

GROUP D
Monterrey (Mexico)
Comunicaciones (Guatemala)
Seattle Sounders (USA)
Herediano (Costa Rica)