The U.S. Men’s National Team appears set to return to Florida for the second straight month, and is reportedly lining up some European competition to kick off the new year.
The USMNT is scheduling a friendly against Serbia in late January, Serbian outlet Zurnal reported on Sunday.
The friendly, reportedly schedule for January 31 in Orlando, would be part of a two-match tour of the Concacaf region for the Serbians, who are in the process of hiring a new coach.
The friendly would be against a Serbian squad made up of players from the Serbian domestic league, and would not feature Serbia’s top stars, like Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic, Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic or Ajax’s Dusan Tadic.
The friendly would be the first match for the USMNT since its 6-2 rout of El Salvador in December in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and would presumably come at the end of the U.S. team’s January training camp. The training camp itself would most likely be held at Disney Wide World of Sports in Reunion, Florida, where the USMNT has held multiple training camps in recent years.
Holding camp in Florida makes sense for the USMNT considering the current COVID-19 pandemic situation in California, the other popular location for January USMNT camps. The Americans held their last January training camp in Bradenton, Florida before playing Costa Rica in a friendly in Carson, California.
Orlando has become a popular market for soccer events during the pandemic, with the MLS is Back Tournament having been played last summer in nearby Kissimmee, and with Concacaf recently holding the knockout rounds of the Champions League at Exploria Stadium.
Serbia has served as the USMNT’s opening opponent of the year once before, back on January 29, 2017, in a match that finished in a 0-0 draw in San Diego, California.
The USMNT would be back at Exploria Stadium for the first time since November of 2019, when the Americans defeated Canada in Nations League action, which also happens to be the last official match the USMNT played before the pandemic.