07 Feb 2017

Bruce Arena’s return to the United States Men National Team begun with a goalless draw when they clashed with Serbia on Sunday.

The first soccer game for the side since the sack of former coach Jurgen Klinsmann ended on a not-so-good note. Klinsmann was fired for the string of losses the team suffered in their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Arena was the national team boss from 1998 to 2006. His results with the team (71-30-29) made him the winningest coach in American history and earned him a spot in the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Arena lost his job then after the US lost out in the group stage at the 2006 World Cup. The football manager returned to the local league – the MLS – where he posted three title wins with Los Angeles Galaxy.

The game was a friendly as the team tries to find confidence again ahead of their resumption at the qualifiers. They are posed to play another friendly against Jamaica on Friday in Tennessee.

Arena hopes that the friendlies would help them when they host Honduras on March 24. They lost their first two games at the qualifiers, so they need to return to winning ways as soon as possible. They would play Panama away four days from hosting Honduras.

Jozy Altidore played the Serbia game where he became the 17th American soccer star to make 100 appearances for the team. He remains the second youngest player at 27 years and 84 days behind soccer legend Landon Donovan (at 26 years, 96 days).

The Serbian side were not as complete as they were missing Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic, City’s Aleksandar Kolarov.

On the other side Graham Zusi made his first international start in the right back role, Greg Garza played in the left and Steve Birnbaum and Chad Marshall at the centre. Arena used a 4-2-3-1 formation with third choice goalkeeper Rimando starting as the others were unavailable. Altidore played in front alone while Michael Bradley captained the hosts.