The Arena Era Begins Here: USMNT kick off 2017 vs. Serbia

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by DAVE MARTINEZ

Waiting to see what a Bruce Arena led U.S. Men’s National Team will look like?

Well, you won’t be left in anticipation for much longer.

The former LA Galaxy boss is set to make his return to the USMNT sideline on January 29, when the U.S. takes on Serbia at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET.

This will be the first of two friendlies following the “Camp Cupcake” January gathering, ahead of the Final Round qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup against Honduras (March 24) and away at Panama (March 28).

This is the first time the U.S. has faced Serbia, who are recognized by FIFA as the successor to the Yugoslavia National Team. Serbia currently sits in second place in Group D of UEFA Qualifying for the 2018 World Cup with an unbeaten 2-0-2 record.

During his first tenure as U.S. boss, Arena led the team with a record total of victories (71), taking his side to their highest FIFA ranking in the program’s history (fourth overall). A weak showing in the FIFA 2006 World Cup, however, cost him his job at the helm of U.S. Soccer, making way for Bob Bradley.