The United State 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 January 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 its full complement of players, either, much like Iceland did not during its friendly against the USA at the start of 2016. Serbia is currently in second place in Group D of UEFA World Cup qualifying with a 2-0-2 record. The US and Serbia have never before played, though the US did face off with Yugoslavia – which is recognized by FIFA and UEFA as the predecessor to the Serbian national team – twice, including at the 1998 World Cup.
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 match will be the first game back in charge for Bruce Arena who returned to the United State Men’s National Team head coaching position earlier this year. The match will be televised on ESPN2 and Univision.
The friendly, which does not lie on a FIFA international fixture date, will mark the conclusion of the USMNT’s annual January Camp and serve as the first of two exhibitions Arena will hold before their next pair of World Cup Qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup against Honduras on March 24 and away to Panama on March 28.