Kick Off: Dallas edged in Panama | Seattle, RBNY open CCL | Barco dazzles

Here is everything you need to know about MLS and North American soccer this morning:

CCL: FC Dallas have work to do

Michael Barrios and Dallas could not break through vs. Tauro | CONCACAF.com/Mexsport

FC Dallas will need to rally at home after falling 1-0 in their CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 opener against Panamanian foe Tauro. The Texans had plenty of scoring chances on Wednesday night, but were never able to take the lid off the home side's goal. RECAP

Sounders start CCL quest

The Seattle Sounders will kick off their Champions League Round of 16 duel with Salvadoran side Santa Tecla in Thursday's away leg (10 pm ET | univisiondeportes.com, go90.com). They will do so with a makeshift right side of defense, as Kelvin Leerdam and Roman Torres are on the mend. PREVIEW

As it just so happens, the latest stop on Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle's preseason around-the-horn is Seattle, where the reigning Western Conference champs have been surgically filling depth holes to gear up for another MLS Cup hunt. READ MORE

CCL gate opens for the Red Bulls

Down in Costa Rica, the New York Red Bulls will embark on their Champions league odyssey with Thursday's opener (10 pm ET | UDN, go90.com) against ex-Dynamo striker Carlo Costly and Olimpia. The match was moved from Honduras due to simmering social and political tensions in the country, and will be played behind closed doors due to a stadium ban for Olimpia fans. PREVIEW

The Red Bulls will officially have a new captain when they hit the field in Costa Rica, as they announced Wednesday that Luis Robles would take the armband. Robles – the first goalkeeper to captain the team since Tony Meola – is RBNY's third captain in three years after they traded Dax McCarty and Sacha Kljestan in successive offseasons. READ MORE

Barco steals Weds. preseason show

Wednesday's busy preseason friendly card brought plenty of excitement, including two more Gyasi Zardes strikes, and "hello" goals from David Accam and Andy Polo. But the midweek limelight falls on Atlanta United newcomer Ezequiel Barco, who scored a special first goal in his new shirt (watch above). READ MOREPRESEASON SCORES & SCHEDULE

Alessandrini expects better in 2018

With a fantastic debut campaign now in the past, LA Galaxy winger Romain Alessandrini is plotting to use the MLS experience gained to perform at an even higher level this year. READ MORE

Making moves in Cascadia?

The agent for South Korea defender Kim Kee-hee has confirmed that a deal has been reached in principle to bring his client to the Seattle Sounders, who have been on the lookout for center back depth. READ MORE

Meanwhile, Spanish outlet Cadena SER says Portland may not be done building up their attacking arsenal. The Timbers are reportedly in a race (in Spanish) with big Moscow clubs CSKA, Lokomotiv and Spartak to land the Venezuela international, who is looking for an Alaves exit. READ MORE

First eMLS Cup set for April

On Wednesday, Major League Soccer announced the details for the inaugural eMLS Cup, which will take place in Boston in early April. READ MORE

Just as that news dropped, video game news and views website Polygon delved in deep to explain how MLS has teamed with EA Sports to brighten the league's fan future. READ MORE

MLSsoccer.com Must-Watch

Atlanta rapper 2Chainz is getting geared up for the new MLS season

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