USA vs. Serbia: Score and Reaction for 2017 Friendly

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2017

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 29:  Jermaine Jones #13 of the United States shoots the ball against Alesksandar Palocevic #10 of Serbia in the first half of the match at Qualcomm Stadium on January 29, 2017 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images)
Kent Horner/Getty Images

The United States played out a tame goalless draw against Serbia in a friendly at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, as both teams fielded experimental sides for the game on Sunday.

The match was Bruce Arena's first encounter back in charge, as the coach began his second stint running the team.

The game witnessed multiple changes to both countries' usual starting XIs, with the managers opting for inexperienced lineups.

U.S. Soccer shared media of the United States starting XI:

The U.S. began slowly but progressively warmed their tempo as they attempted to break the deadlock.

L.A. Galaxy player Jermaine Jones linked well with Sacha Kljestan and Jozy Altidore to apply pressure, but the midfielder missed the target when given an opportunity to strike.

America sat deep and played on the counter-attack, with Jones central to the tactics. However, the hosts' final ball was lacking in quality and execution.

U.S. Soccer shared photos of the best moments of the first half:

Darlington Nagbe went close for America midway through the first half, but the player could not find the target—much like America's best work.

Once again, U.S. Soccer shared the moment:

A wave of substitutions followed the half-time interval as Arena took the opportunity to look at everyone in his squad as closely as possible.

The friendly was lacking a real competitive edge, and neither team appeared motivated or primed.

Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated passed comment on the lack of excitement:

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 29:  Head coach Bruce Arena of the United States looks on during pregame warm-ups prior to their match against Serbia at Qualcomm Stadium on January 29, 2017 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images)
Kent Horner/Getty Images

Sebastian Lletget replaced club team-mate Jones for the second half, and the Californian made an instant impact as he tested Serbia.

Alejandro Bedoya was found by Lletget with a shrewd pass, and he combined with Kljestan and Altidore as the Stars and Stripes entered the penalty area.

However, goalkeeper Filip Manojlovic denied Altidore from close range, to the clear disappointment of the Americans.

Altidore departed soon after, and he was given warm applause to commemorate his 100th cap for his nation, per U.S. Soccer: 

The game fizzled out in the final moments as both teams accepted a draw, and Arena did not learn much about the task ahead of him.

The U.S. were missing their best players for the friendly and cannot be judged against a team who offered so little in San Diego.