The Bruce Arena era with the US Men's National Team is underway for the second time. Arena took the national squad to San Diego for a test against the Serbian National Team. However, neither side was able to score as the match ended 0-0 at Qualcomm Stadium in front of 20,079 supporters.
Neither side found final ball
It took awhile for things to get going in this friendly. The first attempt did not come until the 19th minute of the match. Jozy Altidore headed a ball down into open space for Jermaine Jones to latch onto. Jones, though, missed the target by a few inches, not really troubling the Serbian goalkeeper.
In the 25th minute, the USA built up one of their better attacks, which involved multiple members of the USMNT going forward. The move ended when a low Jones’ cross through the middle of the box was blocked by a Serbian defender.
Darlington Nagbe looked far better than his first call-up with the national team. He got involved early and often. His best chance throughout the 90 mins came during 29th minute. Nagbe attempted to hit the top right corner of the net after turning, but missed its intended target.
After Serbia was caught down field following a corner, the USMNT went on the counter. It ended, however, with another Nagbe shot missing the frame of the goal.
Two minutes after the restart, Altidore had a chance to break the deadlock on his 100th cap. He took maybe on too many touches as Filip Manojlovic came off his line to thwart the attack.
LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget came on to earn his first cap in the second half of this match and looked impressive in his short cameo. Two minutes before the hour mark, he delivered a cross towards the area. There, Sacha Kljestan rose above the Serbian defenders to send his header to the right side of the net.
Serbia did not have many good looks towards Nick Rimando’s goal. But their best chance occurred in the 90th minute. Lazar Jovanovic, a second half sub, found space inside the box before testing Rimando at the near post. The Real Salt Lake goalkeeper did well to extend out to cut down the angle in the end.
In reality, the USA should have won this match. They were up against the Serbian B team and dominated possession for a majority of the afternoon. Yet, that final ball, as it so often does, was lacking and that cost them the victory at the end of the day.
Bruce Arena will have to tinker with things before the Jamaica friendly at the end of the week if he wants results to change.
USA returns to action this Friday night. There, they take on Jamaica in another friendly in Chattanooga, Tennessee.