USMNT falls to Serbia in 2023 opener
The USMNT lost 2-1 to Serbia on Wednesday but there were plenty of bright spots for a youthful American side.
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FC Cincinnati star Brandon Vazquez scored on his USMNT debut with a beautiful header, Cade Cowell was sensational (he hit both posts in the second half) and teenage goalkeeper Gabriel ‘Gaga’ Slonina looked assured in goal as he became the youngest ever ‘keeper to play for the USMNT.
However, a severely understrength Serbia side fought back and scored a great goal in each half through Luke Ilic’s low free kick and a lovely run and finish from Veljko Simic.
Next up for the USMNT is a friendly against Colombia (Saturday, 7:30pm ET on Universo and Peacock en Español) which concludes their January camp under assistant coach Anthony Hudson who is leading the team with Gregg Berhalter’s future still uncertain.
How to watch USMNT vs Serbia live, stream link and start time
Here is the starting lineup for the USMNT as Gaga Slonina and Vazquez both start and both could be big players for the U.S. in the future.
The USMNT kick off their first game since the 2022 World Cup as they face Serbia in California in the first friendly of their January camp.
With recent USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter currently under investigation by the U.S. Soccer Federation after he admitted kicking his now wife in 1991 when they were in college together, assistant coach Anthony Hudson will lead the USMNT.
Hudson has been leading practice during the January camp and will take charge of the two friendlies against Serbia and Colombia after calling up a squad of 24.
Five players who went to the 2022 World Cup with the USMNT are on this roster (Aaron Long, Walker Zimmerman, Kellyn Acosta, Sean Johnson and Jesus Ferreira) and this camp and games are valuable for MLS-based players to get their fitness up to speed and also prove their worth. All eyes are on FC Cincinnati striker Brandon Vazquez as he could be the No. 9 the U.S. men’s national team badly needs.
With USMNT players based in Europe and elsewhere around the world not able to join this camp unless their team agrees to release them for a non-FIFA window (thus meaning Serbia’s squad will be a lot weaker too), there will also be plenty of chances for youngsters such as Paxten Aaronson, Jonathan Gomez Alejandro Zendejas and Paxton Pomykal to impress.
Serbia disappointed once again the World Cup as they’ve crashed out in the Group Stage in 2010, 2018 and now 2022. Their full strength squad has plenty of stars with Dusan Tadic, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic all phenomenal players but defensively they were all over the place in Qatar. This Serbia roster is made up of mostly domestic players, with three MLS-based players included and the most noticeable name is LA Galaxy forward Dejan Joveljic.
USMNT quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 13
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 11
Coach: Anthony Hudson (temporary)
Serbia quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 29
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 3 (as Serbia)
Coach: Dragan Stojkovic