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U.S., Serbia battle to stalemate in friendly
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USA's Jozy Altidore (white jersey) in action against visiting Serbia during an international friendly on January 29, 2017, in San Diego, California. (Photo: John Todd/isiphotos.com)

SAN DIEGO, California -- The United States and visiting Serbia played to a 0-0 draw on Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium as Bruce Arena launched his second stint as the Americans’ head coach.

Forward Jozy Altidore earned his 100th cap in the match, becoming the second youngest player in U.S. history to hit the century mark at 27 years, 84 days.  Landon Donovan was 26 years, 96 days, when he accomplished the feat.

Darlington Nagbe – in his first international start -- provided the best two chances of the first half for the host.  In the 29th minute, Michael Bradley's penetrating pass found the Portland Timbers midfielder on the left edge of the box, where he cut back inside and curled his effort just wide of the right post.

Nine minutes later, a quick counterattack saw Altidore hold up the ball for Jermaine Jones, who cleverly flicked into Nagbe's path.  The 26-year-old entered the box and again cut back, bending a low attempt past the right post.

After the break, USA’s Sacha Kljestan glanced a header wide in the 58th minute and teammate Chris Pontius shot agonizingly wide of the left post in the last minute of normal time.

Serbia put two shots on goal in the second half, but goalkeeper Nick Rimando saved both, turning away a 71st minute effort from Milos Simonovic and 89th minute rocket from Lazar Jovanovic.

What’s next?

The U.S. returns to action on February 3, when it welcomes CONCACAF rival Jamaica to Chattanooga, Tennessee in another international friendly.

NOTES: The U.S. is now 0W-1D-2L all-time against Serbia … Jozy Altidore became the 17th U.S. player to earn 100 caps … Sebastian Lletget, Chris Pontius and Jorge Villafaña made their USA international debuts … Defender Chad Marshall made his first national team since January 23, 2010 vs. Honduras.

International Friendly

January 29, 2017: Qualcomm Stadium – San Diego, California, USA (Att: 20,079)

USA-Serbia 0-0 (0-0)

USA: Nick Rimando; Graham Zusi, Steve Birnbaum, Chad Marshall, Greg Garza (Jorge Villafaña 69’), Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones (Sebastian Lletget 46’), Alejandro Bedoya (Chris Pontius 65’), Sacha Kljestan (Benny Feilhaber 77’), Darlington Nagbe (Juan Agudelo 87’), Jozy Altidore (Jordan Morris 74’). Head Coach: Bruec Arena

Serbia: Filip Manojlovic; Nemanja Miletic, Nikola Maras, Srdan Plavsic (Lazar Jovanovic 81’), Aleksandar Palocevic (Marko Mrkic 64’), Marko Gobeljic (Marko Klisura 84’), Nikola Cirkovic, Nemanja Calasan (Milos Simonovic 55’), Stefan Panic, Jovan Dokic (Marko Jevtović 77’), Sasa Jovanovic (Enver Alivodic 63’). Head Coach: Slavoljub Muslin

R: Kevin Morrison (Jamaica); AR1: Richard Washington (Jamaica); AR2: Lloyd Edwards (Jamaica); 4th: Dwight Royal (Jamaica)

 
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