Serbia calls: MLS trio named for post-World Cup friendly vs. USMNT


The US men’s national team’s first test during the 2026 World Cup cycle will occur against three players from Major League Soccer.

The Serbian federation announced Wednesday they’ve called in New England Revolution goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic, LA Galaxy forward Dejan Joveljic and Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Ranko Veselinovic for a friendly on Jan. 25 at LAFC’s BMO Stadium.

Since the game falls outside of a FIFA international window, head coach Dragan Stojković couldn’t summon a full-strength squad that’d contain 2022 World Cup stars like Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic and Ajax midfielder Dusan Tadic.

Instead, it’s a domestic-heavy group (alongside an MLS trio) that’s light on experience after Оrlovi finished bottom of Group G in Qatar. Serbia, No. 29 in the post-tournament FIFA World Rankings, have made three of the past four World Cups.

USMNT caretaker manager Anthony Hudson, an assistant coach during the Gregg Berhalter era, is expected to name the Yanks' first post-World Cup roster (with a heavy MLS presence) in the coming days. They’ll also face Colombia on Jan. 28 in a friendly at Dignity Health Sports Park, home of the LA Galaxy.

Petrovic, 23, has received his third call-up and owns one previous appearance for Serbia: a 0-0 draw against the Dominican Republic last January.

Petrovic, who signed with the Revs from Serbian side FK Čukarički in April 2022, proved a more-than-suitable replacement for USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner, who joined English Premier League leaders Arsenal via transfer in June. He was a finalist for both the 2022 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and 2022 MLS Newcomer of the Year awards.

Joveljic, 23, has been capped twice by Serbia, competing in a pair of friendlies against Jamaica and Japan in June 2021.

He’s become the ultimate super-sub for the Galaxy since joining in August 2021 from German Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt, posting 13 goals and five assists in just 1,700 minutes. LA head coach Greg Vanney has often played Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez centrally alongside two wingers, pushing Joveljic to the bench.

Veselinovic, 23, also made his international debut (only cap to date) for Serbia in the aforementioned friendly against the Dominican Republic.

He’s been a regular starter for the Whitecaps since joining in 2020 from Serbian side Vojvodina, starting 69 of his 76 appearances across three seasons (with 2g/2a).