The Dynamo today learned their schedule of matches for the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage...and it's not all that good.
I've listed the matches below, along with league matches in italics to easily demonstrate how rough the travel schedule is going to be on the team. The upside is that despite the fact the two away matches are sandwiched between league games, those are at least home matches. Plus ending the group with two home games is a nice advantage.
8/19 vs. Columbus
8/22 at FAS (El Salvador) 9 p.m.
8/25 vs. Toronto
8/30 at Olimpia (Honduras) TBA 9 p.m.
9/14 at Sporting KC
9/20 vs. FAS 7 p.m.
9/23 at Philadelphia
10/20 vs. Philadelphia
10/23 vs. Olimpia 7 p.m.
10/27 at Colorado
So maybe it's not too bad, but there's no question the month of August is going to be tough on the Dynamo. There will likely be important matches in terms of playoff positioning, so to compound the challenge with trips to El Salvador and Honduras will just make things more interesting. Still glad to be in the tournament of course and there's no perfect situation, but we'll see how it plays out.
One thing is for sure, this is going to test the Dynamo not only on the field, but it terms of balancing advancing in the CCL versus points they need to gain to ensure they make the playoffs. It also makes matches in June and July even more important because if the team is still chasing a playoff spot in August and September, the CCL could be tossed aside if the team determines making the playoffs more important.
It's still a ways off though, so no need to panic just yet of course, but plenty to think about.