Premier League 2014-15 preview: Queens Park Rangers

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A surprise relegation squad in 2013, big money QPR found it harder to make it back to the Premier League than many expected. But the playoffs earned them their top flight status thanks to a late Bobby Zamora goal, and QPR looks to do this PL thing right this time around.

Adding more veteran depth at the back and a young wild card (Jordon Mutch) in attack, sealing a deal for Juventus’ Mauricio Isla is key to their 2014/15 campaign. Can QPR finally deliver on the expectations set forth by chairman Tony Fernandes?

[RELATED: Full PL season preview]

Transfers In: Steven Caulker (Cardiff City), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Jordon Mutch (Cardiff City), Mauricio Isla (Juventus)

Transfers Out: Stephane Mbia, Yossi Benayoun (Maccabi Haifa)

Full PL schedule | Watch QPR live via Live Extra | BPL on NBC schedule |

Last season: QPR earned instant promotion back to the Premier League after advancing via the Championship playoffs. They looked like a league-winner before fading down the stretch.

source: Getty Images

Star player: Loic Remy

Assuming he stays — which is a wild assumption considering a failed medical is what kept him from leaving for Liverpool — the French forward will provide QPR with a chance to finish any opportunity. The 26-year-old scored 14 goals for Newcastle last season despite missing part of the season, and the forward depth drops off behind him and Charlie Austin (who has zero Premier League experience but certainly has faced new challenges well).

Coaches’ Corner: Harry Redknapp

The combustible manager oversaw both QPR’s relegation in 2013 and their promotion last season, but the jury’s out on whether he’s the right man for the job. For one, QPR’s rich owners bankrolled a very talented — if too veteran — squad for the Championship run and Redknapp still needed the playoffs to advance.

PST predicts: QPR fights to stay alive all season long, but has enough momentum from some midseason fixes to keep itself out of the relegation zone. Redknapp is canned before it’s said and done, and the club finishes 14th.

U.S. Open Cup roundup: Poku lifts Miami; Red Bulls, Cincy win on PKs

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While MLS represents the majority of the remaining clubs in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, one side continues to defy the odds.

[ MORE: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson ]

Miami FC reached their first quarterfinal in club history after knocking off Atlanta United late on Wednesday, behind a goal and an assist from Kwadwo Poku. The victory for Miami sets up a date with FC Cincinnati — who pulled off an unbelievable shootout win against the Chicago Fire.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution both advanced on the night with wins over the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United, respectively. The Red Bulls and Revs will meet in the final eight as well.

Sporting KC kept its hope of hoisting a fourth U.S. Open Cup title alive on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. The 2015 winners will take on FC Dallas — who defeated the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday night.

Here are all the results from tonight’s Open Cup action.

Houston Dynamo 0-2 Sporting KC
New England Revolution 2-1 D.C. United
Miami FC 3-2 Atlanta United
New York Red Bulls 1-1 (5-3 on PKs) Philadelphia Union
FC Cincinnati 0-0 (3-1 on PKs) Chicago Fire

Late action (10:30 p.m. ET kick off)

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Seattle Sounders
LA Galaxy vs. Sacramento Republic

Report: City Football Group set to expand outreach with Girona deal

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City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.

[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]

The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.

CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.

Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.

MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.

New York Red Bulls ink goalkeeper Luis Robles to new deal

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The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]

Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.

Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.

Report: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson

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Minnesota United has had its shares of ups and down in its debut MLS season, but the Loons are on the verge making an exciting young signing.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder closing in on Los Angeles FC move ]

ESPN FC is reporting that Minnesota will sign Hearts winger Sam Nicholson from the Scottish Premier League on a deal that makes him a Loon until 2019.

The young attacker is expected to join the MLS side when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.

Nicholson, 22, has played with the Edinburgh side since his youth days, and made his senior debut with the club in 2013. During his time at Hearts, Nicholson scored 16 goals in all competitions for the team.

Last season, Nicholson missed 16 matches due to a significant knee injury.

According to the report, Scottish sides Rangers and Aberdeen were also among those interested in acquiring Nicholson, while English Championship clubs Bristol City and Barnsley also reached out about the attacker.