After news broke earlier today that Queens Park Rangers and manager Harry Redknapp has been locked into talks all day, the Twittersphere went into overdrive.
Now, it can calm down again, as QPR have confirmed that Redknapp will stay on as the West London clubs manager.
QPR’s relegation to the Championship was confirmed on Sunday, following the dissapoitning 0-0 draw with Reading. But good news has arrived for Rangers’ fans as Redknapp will stay on to lead their Champions promotion push next season.
Aiming for EPL promotion is one thing but delivering it is a huge ask.
“There’s a lot of work to be done next year and it will be very difficult to get promoted,” Redknapp told Sky Sports. “It’s a real good challenge. It’s possible but it ain’t going to be easy.”
More: Redknapp’s QPR future hanging in the balance
Redknapp has won promotion to the EPL in the past, with Portsmouth in 2003, and knows the lower leagues of English soccer extremely well after cutting his teeth with Bournemouth in his first managerial role. He emphasized fitness would be a key factor in determining how effective his side will be next term.
“That’s the key. Whoever the players we have here, they’ve got to be worked on in pre-season and they’ve got to be willing to want to get super fit to compete at that level,” Redknapp said. “It will be a big challenge. There are lots of good teams and massive clubs. There are big clubs who have all been in the Premier League before and we are just one of them.”
More: QPR and Reading both relegated after dour 0-0 tie
But if Redknapp can keep the incredibly expensive squad he has assembled together, a return to the EPL may not be as hard as everyone thinks.
The U.S. Men’s National Team won’t have a busy schedule throughout the summer, but Dave Sarachan and his side will get a tiny taste of the World Cup in September.
[ MORE: Chivas’ Almeyda exhales after CCL title win ]
ESPN FC is reporting that the USMNT will likely face Brazil and Mexico — both of whom will travel to Russia in June — later this year, as the U.S. Soccer Federation is in the process of finalizing both friendlies.
The matches are set to be played during the September international window, which runs from Sept. 3 through Sept. 11.
Both fixtures will reportedly be played in the United States, although venues haven’t been determined yet.
The U.S. has already begun booking a slate of difficult matches to round out 2018, with England and Italy already confirmed opponents for the Yanks in November.
The Yanks are 1-17-0 all-time against Brazil in all competitions, while the U.S. hasn’t faced Mexico since its 1-1 draw at the Estadio Azteca in June 2017 during CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
Roger Bennett talks with manager Jurgen Klopp
about revolutionizing Liverpool, his Greatest Show on Turf-esque offense, the loss of Philippe Coutinho
and how he keeps football in perspective.
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Two key midfielders earned new deals on Thursday, as two of the Eastern Conference’s recent successes helped solidify for their attacks for the next few years.
The Columbus Crew extended Designated Player attacker Federico Higuain through the 2019 MLS season.
Higuain has been with the Crew since 2012, when the Argentine joined the club from Colon de Santa Fe in his native country.
Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls extended Daniel Royer’s contract, as the Austrian winger in the midst of his third season with Jesse Marsch’s group.
Thus far, Royer has tallied 17 goals in all competitions for the Red Bulls, including 15 during the 2017 campaign, where the former Midtjylland player finished second on the team in goals behind Bradley Wright-Phillips.
A game of back-and-forth at the Emirates Stadium set up an enticing second leg in the UEFA Europa League semifinals, while a Ligue 1 side positioned itself well to move into the final.
[ MORE: Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks ]
Arsenal and Atletico Madrid settled for a 1-1 draw in London, as Antoine Griezmann’s late strike leveled the match for the Spanish side.
The Gunners looked on their way to a victory when Alexandre Lacazette‘s goal just beyond the hour mark put Arsene Wenger‘s men in front.
The result sets up a strong showdown for the two giants in a week’s time, although Arsenal will feel it left something on the table after racking up 26 shots (seven on target) on the day, particularly after Sime Vrsaljko was sent off after 10 minutes for the visitors when he picked up a second yellow card.
Meanwhile, Florian Thauvin and Clinton Njie gave Marseille a 2-0 win over Red Bull Leipzig, giving the French side the edge it sought out ahead of the competition finale.
The two clubs will meet again at Red Bull Arena Salzburg for the second leg.
Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid
Marseille 2-0 Red Bull Salzburg