USMNT will host Serbia in Arena's first match back as manager

BY Sports Illustrated and Staff/Sports Illustrated via Planet Futbol • December 14, 2016

The U.S. men's national team will take on Serbia in Bruce Arena's first match since replacing Jurgen Klinsmann as manager.

The friendly, which comes on a non-FIFA date, will take place Jan. 29 at 4 p.m. ET at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, and it will be the first of two friendlies that concludes the national team's annual January training camp. The second friendly has not yet been announced. Given the timing, the U.S. will be made up largely of an MLS-based contingent, with European-based players on club duty not required to be released.

As a result, Serbia won't have it's full complement of players, either, much like Iceland did not during its friendly against the USA at the start of 2016. The Serbians are currently second in their World Cup qualifying group, two points behind Ireland and two points ahead of Wales through four matches (2-0-2).

The match serves as preparation for the USA's next two World Cup qualifying matches, which come March 24 and 28 against Honduras and at Panama, respectively. The U.S. is in an 0-2-0 hole after losing at home to Mexico and at Costa Rica in the last two games of the Klinsmann era.

share story