Premier League preview: Manchester United vs. Queens Park Rangers

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  • Red Devils looking for their first win under Louis van Gaal.
  • Rio Ferdinand makes his Old Trafford return.
  • Radamel Falcao set to debut.

Sure to get a warm reception from the Old Trafford faithful, long-time Red Devil Rio Ferdinand makes his return to Manchester on Sunday, with a United team hoping for its first win of the season hosting Queens Park Rangers.  Coverage begins tomorrow on NBCSN at 8:00 a.m. ET, with the match also available to stream via NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

Ferdinand moved to QPR this summer after his contract expired in Manchester. Having joined the Red Devils in 2002 for a then-English record £34 million, Ferdinand went on to spent 12 years at Old Trafford, making 455 appearances and winning six league titles with the club.

Now the former West Ham and Leeds defender is manning central defense for Harry Redknapp, who has brought QPR back to the top flight after a brief return to the Football Championship. With one goal in three games, however, the Hoops are off to a slow start, though that single score allowed Redknapp’s team to defeat Sunderland two weeks ago.

That win leaves QPR above United in the table, with Louis van Gaal yet to record his first Premier League victory. Held to two goals in three games, Manchester United’s talented attack has yet to meet expectations, but with Colombian attacker Radamel Falcao expected to make his debut, the team will have a new dimension as it tries to break into the win column.

What they are saying

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, on his team’s adjustments to his new approach “We have to pass much quicker. We have been trying to do that already on the training pitch. It is also true that we are losing the ball too much, too early. Maybe the reason is because I am demanding much faster play. It might be a vicious circle. The pressure is much higher on the players to act quickly and they end up losing the ball.”

QPR defender Rio Ferdinand on his United departure: “I had great years at Old Trafford,’ Ferdinand told the BBC. ‘I never got to say goodbye when I left, which was unfortunate, so it will be a nice opportunity to say bye to a lot of people who supported me and helped me.”

Prediction

No result would be a surprising one at this point in United’s transition, and while there is a danger the intentional break allowed players to distract themselves from the situation’s urgency, this ship will be righted, at some point.

Bloated, taking on water, United’s barge has had trouble turning into place. But on Sunday, they may find themselves pointed in the right direction. 2-0, Red Devils.

France veteran Malouda loses appeal in Gold Cup case

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Former France winger Florent Malouda has lost his appeal against being ruled ineligible to play for French Guiana at the 2017 Gold Cup.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says its judges dismissed Malouda’s appeal against North American soccer body CONCACAF.

French Guiana fielded Malouda in a 0-0 draw against Honduras last July despite being told he was not eligible. CONCACAF awarded a 3-0 win to Honduras and suspended Malouda.

The Gold Cup uses FIFA eligibility rules which bar players from transferring allegiance after playing a competitive game for one country.

Malouda played 80 times for France including a 2006 World Cup final loss against Italy.

The French Guiana soccer federation hoped Malouda, now aged 37, could play in the Gold Cup because it is not a FIFA member.

Report: Bobby Wood unlikely to come to MLS this summer

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A U.S. Men’s National Team forward will probably have to wait a bit longer to come to Major League Soccer if that is the path that he chooses.

Reports have recently surfaced linking Bobby Wood to MLS at the conclusion of the Bundesliga season, however, MLSSoccer.com is reporting that a move for the American likely won’t come in 2018.

Wood, who remains under contract for three more seasons at Hamburg, is currently fighting relegation in Germany with his club side.

Hamburg currently sits 17th in the German top flight, eight points buried in the relegation zone with four matches remaining.

The MLSSoccer.com report suggests that MLS clubs aren’t willing to compensate Wood at the current rate of his contract in Germany.

Currently, Wood is making “several million dollars” per season, and even if Hamburg is relegated in 2017/18 Wood’s contract wouldn’t decrease to a number that clubs are comfortable paying.

If Wood was to join MLS, he would be considered a Discovery signing as he is not currently on the MLS player allocation list. The Washington Post previously reported that an MLS club has Wood included on their Discovery list, although the team’s identity isn’t known.

Report: Fellaini eyes MLS, China after shooting down Man United terms

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Marouane Fellaini‘s time in Manchester looks to be numbered, and a move abroad could have the Belgian in line for one last payday during his career.

The Manchester United midfielder has rejected multiple offers to stay on at Old Trafford ahead of his contract expiring this summer, which would allow Fellaini to pursue other opportunities come June.

Fellaini is being linked to moves to Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League, as the veteran aims to secure a sizable contract upon leaving the Red Devils after over five-and-a-half years with the club.

The Daily Mail is also reporting that Fellaini would be open to hearing options that could keep him in the Premier League, although it is unclear if there is any serious interest from English sides at this time.

Since the arrivals of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, Fellaini has struggled to find playing time under manager Jose Mourinho.

This season, the Belgium international has appeared in just 14 PL matches and 19 in all competitions. Fellaini has scored four goals in that span.

Chicago Fire venue to be renamed SeatGeek Stadium

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The Chicago Fire won’t be moving into a new stadium 2019, however, their venue will have a new name donned on the side of it.

For years, the Eastern Conference side has played its home matches at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, but starting next season the Fire’s home turf will be called SeatGeek Stadium as part of a rebrand.

SeatGeek is one of the largest online after-market ticket distributors, and was created back in 2009.

Toyota Park will undergo its transformation at the conclusion of the 2018 MLS season.

The venue is also home to the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars.