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Report: USMNT to face Serbia in January friendly

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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.

Comments

  1. I would expect the USA to handle the Serbs fairly convincingly.

    MLS has come a long ways, though the world certainly hasn’t noted it yet. (The FA has MLS listed as a fourth-band league for purposes of establishing work visa credits for future EPL overseas transfers, which is…insulting. To put it mildly.)

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  2. Great opportunity to play against a team who will be able to hold possession, connect passes, and be organized defending. Expect Serbia to show up and play positive football with talented players
    Both rosters will compete trying to prove themselves worthy of the a first team call up.
    USMNT needs more friendlies like this to test the domestic players

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    • Hard to compare four years later but last time they played Serbia in Jan. Camp US had 62% possession and the game was a dull 0-0 draw. There were only 3 domestic based players who were on the roster for their last NL matches in November, one was a keeper who has never gotten in a match for Serbia and another is Katai who was kicked out of LAG after his wife made racist comments on social media. This squad should be an upgrade over El Salvador but it won’t resemble their first choice squad either.

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  3. GK: Turner, Hamid, Johnson
    CBs: Zimm, McKenzie (if not sold), Long, Kessler
    RBs: Araujo, Duncan, Reynolds (if not sold)
    LBs: Vines, Gasper, Bello
    DM: Yeuill, Amaya, A. Morris
    CM: Busio, Lletget, Tessmann, Dotson
    W: Morris, Mueller, Arriola, Mihailovic, Alvarez
    CF: Zardes, Dike

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  4. So if the opponent has been identified, when is USSF going to release the camp roster?
    As for the opponent….it’s better than we usually get even if they are without their star players. It’ll be the Serbian Domestic League Vs. the US Domestic League.

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    • Depends on how long they’re training, if it’s the normal two or three weeks we’d find out the first week of January. If it’s a one week camp because of Covid it will be around Inauguration Day.

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