While a win wasn't in the cards for the Yanks, a couple of players put in strong showings and made their case to be involved in the upcoming cycle.
That's kind of the point of the January camp anyway, isn't it?
The former Chicago Fire prodigy became the youngest 'keeper to start a match for the United States and lived up to the hype with an unreal first-half save, reaching behind himself and somehow clawing the ball back before it crossed the line. He commanded his box with maturity and was not at fault for either of Serbia's goals.
Gómez, previously of USL Championship side Louisville City, showed promise in his second cap, linking well with Cade Cowell on the left flank and providing an outlet in possession. He didn't have much notable impact in the final third initially, but his impact grew as the night went on. Though his positioning allowed Serbia to get in behind on a handful of occasions, overall he recovered well.
It was a tale of two halves for the 19-year-old LA Galaxy defender. His positioning and passing under pressure were nearly flawless in the first half. He froze, though, just minutes after the break, allowing Veljko Simić to pounce on the ball at the edge of the box and bury a simple shot to take the lead. Neal nearly repeated his mistake just minutes later but was saved by the offside flag.
Overall, it was certainly a promising showing for the youngster, but one that pointed to areas that could use improvement.
It was overall a typically assured half for the Nashville SC stalwart, wearing the armband for the seventh time. However, Zimmerman allowed Serbia to equalize just before the break, positioning himself poorly and allowing Luka Ilić's shot through the wall and into the goal. He was withdrawn at the half in what the broadcast called "a planned change."
Earning his first cap just months after becoming an American citizen, the Vancouver Whitecaps fullback marked his debut with an assist, sending an inch-perfect cross for Brandon Vazquez to head home. As well as occupying good positions to receive the ball, Gressel had a handful of dangerous entry passes into the final third. He could have been better positioned in the wall to block Serbia's opener.
Morris filled the Tyler Adams role admirably, covering ground on both sides of the ball and putting in a shift to track back and regain possession. His forward passing was often lacking, though, and even while forcing New England Revolution's Serbian goalkeeper Djordje Petrović into a spectacular save, he may have been better served finding a teammate.
The 24-year-old debutant was the more attack-minded member of the midfield trio, consistently looking to get the ball to feet in the final third. The pass didn't always come off, but the ideas were there.
The San Jose Earthquakes man did just about everything aside from scoring in an electric showing. Cowell's direct running and sheer pace were a menace for the Serbian defense all night, nearly scoring in the first half and then hitting either post within the span of a minute in the second. He's capable of changing a game every time he gets on the ball.
Vazquez was finally given his chance with the US, and he grabbed it with both hands. Despite being isolated against a pair of center backs, he held the ball up well and was an effective focal point for the attack.
In addition to causing problems with his pressing, he picked really good positions in the box to get onto the ball and capped off his international debut with a perfectly taken flicked header to open the scoring. A true striker's goal.
The Club América attacker had a fairly quiet first half in his USMNT debut but came to life late in the match, picking out some clever passes around the box and nearly connecting on a couple of half chances. It didn't quite come together for Zendejas on the night, but the talent is certainly there.
After taking over for the January camp, the caretaker manager generally put his players in positions to succeed. The team had cohesive ideas in the final third despite a short preparation time and maintained the familiar style of play that had been established over the previous three years. It would be harsh to fault Hudson for the individual errors that led to both of Serbia's goals, and he gave some exciting young players a platform to make their cases for further inclusion.
Hoppe hardly made an impact off the bench. After replacing Vazquez in the 62nd minute, he touched the ball just three times and didn't offer the same presence in the final third.
On for Pomykal for the final 30 minutes, Acosta put in a diligent two-way shift. Always strong in the tackle, he was able to deliver a few decent set-pieces but couldn't find a breakthrough pass from the run of play.
The FC Dallas man nearly had an instant impact, hitting a speculative shot just after coming on in the 72nd minute and forcing Petrović into a strong close-range save after a spectacular cross from DeJuan Jones.