Bruce Arena is back in charge of the United States men's national team after the departure of Jurgen Klinsmann, and he will take the reins as his side meets Serbia in a friendly match in San Diego on Sunday.
The veteran Brooklyn-born coach takes control of the national team once again after previously doing the job for eight years until 2006.
The game is USMNT's first encounter since losing two matches in the CONCACAF Hexagonal in November.
Here is how you can watch the game:
Date: Sunday, Jan. 29
Time: 4 p.m. ET/ 9 p.m. GMT
Venue: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
Stream: ESPN Player
America has turned to Arena to make its team a force once more, and the coach will be tasked to eradicate the aftermath of Klinsmann's disappointing tenure.
This is the first time the two countries have met in the sport, and Arena will be hoping for a promising performance against a tough European opponent.
Arena's previous U.S. side was aggressive and powerful; the team is likely to be rebuilt to the same specifications.
Brian Straus of Sports Illustrated reported the new manager has trimmed squad size as he attempts to inject optimism back into his troops.
Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya was delighted the 65-year-old is back in charge, per Straus.
“Bruce has come in and it’s been a breath of fresh air in there,” Bedoya said. “The vibes are loose. The atmosphere is a little bit more looser in terms of everybody is a little bit more free to express themselves, and I think that’s worked out well. In training, you definitely see guys competing hard.”
Arena can experiment in his first two games in charge with his European-based players omitted from the squad, per Sam Stejskal of MLS Soccer. If Jozy Altidore makes it onto the field, the striker will become the second-youngest player to reach 100 caps for the United States.
Serbia will also be in an experimental frame of mind with most of their senior talent not making the trip to California, per Stejskal. Manager Slavoljub Muslin has only included eight players who previously have appeared for their country, making the squad hugely inexperienced for a trip overseas.
The friendly will give Muslin a chance to blood younger talent for World Cup qualification; his side are pencilled in to play Georgia in March.
Arena was buoyant ahead of the workout against the Eagles and was keen to admit he wants his team to play for the win in the friendly, per Straus.
“It’s important that I think we we get off to a good start, that we play well, that we respond well to the things we’ve been working on in camp,” Arena said. “And If we can accomplish that and win the game, it’ll be a great day.”
Arena's return to international football is not a surprise, but there is an argument that suggests the United States should have been braver and chosen a younger manager who can progressively build the team over the next 10 years.
The new coach has had success in the MLS, and that will hold him in good stead as he explores new talent, but it is questionable whether Arena will make his side into a progressive and cultured unit.
Arena's teams have always had grit, but America needs to find itself a philosophy that it can use to cultivate young players over the next two decades—and currently it does not have this focus.