January 29, 2017
USA plays Serbia to a scoreless draw in Arena's 1st game back in charge; Altidore earns 100th cap
Bruce Arena might have experienced a deja vu feeling in his second debut as U.S. national coach.
|Former Red Bulls forward Jozy Altidore made his 100th career appearance for the U.S. national team, but did not score.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
In his first time around in 1998, the Americans played Australia to a scoreless draw.
On Sunday, Arena's squad did not score in what turned into a 0-0 tie with an undermanned Serbia side at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego Sunday.
Former Red Bulls forward Jozy Altidore earned his 100th cap, becoming the second youngest player in U.S. MNT history to hit the century mark at 27 years, 84 days. Landon Donovan was the youngest.
Earning man of the match honors in his first international start, Darlington Nagbe provided the best two chances of the first half for the U.S. before a crowd of 20,079.
In the 29th minute, Michael Bradley’s penetrating pass found him on the left edge of the box where he cut back inside and curled his effort just wide of the right post. Nine minutes later, a quick counter attack saw Altidore hold up the ball for Jermaine Jones, who flicked into Nagbe’s path. The midfielder entered the box and again cut back, bending his low shot just past the right post.
Altidore nearly celebrated his milestone cap with a goal in the 47th minute when Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan slipped the veteran forward into the penalty area on the right only to have goalkeeper Filip Manojlović advance off his line to deny the effort.
The U.S. knocked on the door again in the 58th minute when Nagbe slid a ball to halftime substitute Sebastian Lletget on the left. Lletget, who made his USA debut, took some space before his cross to the far post found Kljestan, whose glancing header popped just wide of goal.
Two saves from goalkeeper Nick Rimando helped preserve the clean sheet, as he turned away a 71st-minute effort from Miloš Simonović and 89th-minute rocket from Lazar Jovanović.
The U.S. had one last chance in the 90th minute when former Red Bull Juan Agudelo’s individual effort led to the ball falling for Red Bulls-killer Chris Pontius, but the midfielder’s quick shot trickled inches wide of the left post.
The Americans will host CONCACAF rival Jamaica in its first match in Chattanooga, Tenn., Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m.
USA: 1-Nick Rimando; 19-Graham Zusi, 15-Steve Birnbaum, 5-Chad Marshall, 2-Greg Garza (14-Jorge Villafańa, 69); 4-Michael Bradley (Capt.), 13-Jermaine Jones (18-Sebastian Lletget, 46); 11-Alejandro Bedoya (23-Chris Pontius, 65), 16-Sacha Kljestan (10-Benny Feilhaber, 77), 6-Darlington Nagbe (9-Juan Agudelo, 87); 17-Jozy Altidore (8-Jordan Morris, 74)
Subs not used: 3-Brad Evans, 7-DaMarcus Beasley, 12-Luis Robles, 20-Dax McCarty, 21-Walker Zimmerman, 22-David Bingham
Head coach: Bruce Arena
SRB: 1-Filip Manojlović; 3-Nemanja Miletić, 5-Nikola Maraš, 7-Srđan Plavšić (17-Lazar Jovanović, 81), 10-Aleksandar Paločević (9-Marko Mrkić, 64), 11-Marko Gobeljić (2-Marko Klisura, 84), 13-Nikola Ćirković, 14-Nemanja Ćalasan (4-Miloš Simonović, 55), 15-Stefan Panić, 16-Jovan Đokić (6-Marko Jevtović, 77), 18-Saša Jovanović (8-Enver Alivodić, 63)
Subs not used: 12-Ognjen Čančarević
Head coach: Slavoljub Muslin
Stats Summary: USA / SRB
Shots: 12 / 8
Shots on Goal: 1 / 2
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 2 / 7
Fouls: 18 / 14
Offside: 5 / 5
USA - Sacha Kljestan (caution) 57th minute
SRB - Nikola Ćirković (caution) 80
Referee: Kevin Morrison (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Richard Washington (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Lloyd Edwards (JAM)
4th Official: Dwight Royal (JAM)
Man of the Match: Darlington Nagbe