How to watch and stream
- TV: Universo
- Streaming: HBO Max, Peacock, Telemundo App
- Wednesday, Jan. 25 | 10 pm ET/7 pm PT
- BMO Stadium | Los Angeles, California
Fresh off a Round of 16 exit to the Netherlands in Qatar, the USMNT are in a state of flux. Assistant coach Anthony Hudson oversees this camp, and the program has no formal manager after Gregg Berhalter’s contract expired and as U.S. Soccer conducts a program-wide review amid some off-field drama.
But in true January camp fashion, the games present an opportunity to newcomers and fringe players who hope to establish a more significant role. Only five players (of 24 total) were at the World Cup and over half (13) of the roster doesn’t have a senior international appearance.
That latter crowd includes FC Cincinnati striker Brandon Vazquez and New York Red Bulls left back John Tolkin, two of 15 MLS-based call-ups. It also contains two prominent MLS exports: midfielder Paxten Aaronson (ex-Philadelphia Union) and Gaga Slonina (ex-Chicago Fire FC), homegrowns who respectively joined German Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt and English Premier League side Chelsea this winter via multi-million dollar transfers.
One of the most intriguing call-ups is Club América forward Alejandro Zendejas, a former US youth international and one-time FC Dallas homegrown standout who’s been capped by Mexico’s senior squad. Zendejas is only competing against Serbia, then returns to his Liga MX squad as their Clausura campaign continues.
A key context point: Since the USMNT’s January camp occurs during a non-FIFA international window, clubs aren’t required to release players (MLS teams are in preseason, whereas European ones are midseason). So there’ll be plenty of faces seeking a springboard, all amid a strange time for the program overall.
Those hoping to see Serbia’s stars who competed in Group G at the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be left disappointed. Head coach Dragan Stojković has called in a squad with four combined caps-worth of experience – all from three MLS players.
That trio involves New England Revolution goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic, LA Galaxy forward Dejan Joveljic and Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Ranko Veselinovic. Petrovic was a finalist for both the 2022 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and 2022 MLS Newcomer of the Year awards, while Joveljic was LA’s second-leading scorer last year with 11g/3a.
Though Serbia’s squad is light on experience and heavy on youth, their players – much like those in USMNT colors – will be hoping to leave a strong impression. For a program that’s made three of the past four World Cups (but hasn't reached the knockout stage since 1998), that could prove a dangerous recipe for the Yanks.
This January clash marks just the fourth all-time meeting between the USMNT and Serbia, with the hosts holding a 0W-2L-1D record since their first meeting against then-Yugoslavia at the 1956 Olympics.