Three Big Storylines:
- This will be Bruce Arena’s first game back with the USMNT since taking over from the fired Jurgen Klinsmann on November 22nd. Klinsmann left the team in last place in the final stage of Concacaf World Cup Qualifying with zero points from two matches played losing 2-1 to Mexico at home and 4-0 away to Costa Rica. With only this game and Friday’s game against Jamaica before the next two World Cup Qualifiers in late March, expect these games to be taken more seriously than the typical January camp friendlies.
- How will the USMNT play under Arena? This camp is only MLS players, but unlike in years past, MLS includes many first choice USMNT starters. Look for how Arena deploys Michael Bradley as an indication of where he will play on March 24th home against Honduras and March 28th in Panama. Will Arena tap Benny Feilhaber for the creative role that was missing under Klinsmann and will Graham Zusi’s conversion to right back be more than just an experiment?
- Assuming he sees the field, this will be Jozy Altidore’s 100th cap with the USMNT. Altidore becomes the 17th player to achieve this distinction and the 2nd youngest after Landon Donovan.
From a Sounders Point of View:
Jordan Morris, Brad Evans and Chad Marshall all made the gameday 23 man roster.
Chad Marshall makes his return to the national team for the first time since the 2009 Gold Cup. The photo included in this story is from the July 4th, 2009 Gold Cup game in Seattle. Expect Morris to see time partnering with Altidore in at least one of the two upcoming friendlies. Brad Evans has been training as a right back and might split time in that position with Graham Zusi.
National TV Listings:
USMNT v Serbia
Date/Time: Sunday, 1 PM
Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
TV: ESPN2, UniMas, Univision Deportes
Ian Darke and Taylor Twellman on the call with Katie Witham on the sidelines. Sebastien Salazar hosts with Kasey Keller and Herculez Gomez as analysts. This will be the first game Gomez has covered since signing full time with ESPN.
DEFENDERS: DaMarcus Beasley (Unattached), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Greg Garza (Atlanta United FC), Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna | MEX), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS: Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Jermaine Jones (LA Galaxy), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union)
FORWARDS: Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)
GOALKEEPERS: Ognjen Čančarević (Radnik, Surdulica), Filip Manojlović (Crvena zvezda)
DEFENDERS: Nemanja Calasan (Spartak Subotica), Nikola Cirkovic (Vozdovac), Marko Klisura (Backa Panaka), Vladimir Kovacevic (Vojvodina), Nikola Maras (Rad), Nemanja Miletic (Partizan)
MIDFIELDERS: Enver Alivodic (Novi Pazar), Jovan Djokic (Atyrau, KAZ), Marko Gobeljic (Napredak Krusevac), Marko Javtovic (Partizan), Stefan Panic (Metalac), Srdjan Plavsic (Crvena Zvezda)
FORWARDS: Lazar Jovanovic (Borac Cacak), Sasa Jovanovic (Mladost Lucani), Marko Mrkic (Radnicki Nis), Aleksandar Palocevic (Vojvodina)
This is your Sounder at Heart USMNT v Serbia open gamethread. Watch with us.
Author’s note: I am back in 2017 with USMNT and MLS Weekend open gamethreads. Here is the first one of the year, using the same format as before. Enjoy the ride.