United States men’s national team to host friendly against Serbia following January camp

The United States men’s national team will play its first match of 2017 in a friendly against Serbia on Jan. 29 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif. (1 p.m. PT; ESPN2, Univision), U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday.

The game will be head coach Bruce Arena’s first game back in charge after replacing former manager Jurgen Klinsmann last month. Arena previously coached the USMNT from 1998-2006.

Tickets will go on sale on Monday, Dec. 19, at 10 a.m. PT through ussoccer.com.

The match against Serbia will come at the end of January camp and will be the first of two friendlies the U.S. play as tuneups to their next two Hexagonal games against Honduras (March 24) and Panama (March 28) in CONCACAF 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying.

This will be the first time the United States have played Serbia as an exclusive entity. The U.S. previously played the former Yugoslavia, which FIFA and UEFA recognize as Serbia’s predecessor, twice, the last coming during the final group match of the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France.

Klinsmann called in Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris to camp ahead of the U.S.’ first two Hexagonal matches, but he was sent home because of a hamstring injury. Morris scored twice in the Sounders’ three matches this season against the LA Galaxy, the club new USMNT boss Arena coached for the previous eight seasons.

Arena recently spoke to former U.S. captain and Sounders forward Clint Dempsey, who has not played since September while recovering from an irregular heartbeat, and wants to bring him into January camp if he is healthy. Dempsey is the United States’ second all-time leading goalscorer and earned his first cap in 2004 during Arena’s first run as manager.

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