It was the first game in the Bruce Arena era and with mostly MLS players, we got glimpses of what the full squad may look like come the World Cup qualifiers in March. The game itself was pretty tame and played at a pretty slow pace for most of the game. Towards the end, the game opened up with a flurry of half chances for both sides. The US may have marginally edged the game overall, but both teams had chances. Here are my player ratings:
He wasn’t tested except for one shot near the end which he parried well. Given the injury to Howard and Guzan’s lack of playing time, he may be auditioning to be a stop-gap.
Not bad for a new position at right back. He grew into the game as it wore on. He may have tougher defensive tests, but he passed all of the ones he faced today.
He was quiet which is always good for a center back. His strength still remains in aerial battles.
He was a solid partner for Birnbaum, but had some shaky moments where his lack of pace was shown. His distribution was shaky as well.
Somewhat underwhelming performance. He was lucky to not concede a penalty in the first half (it was incorrectly deemed outside of the box). He rarely added anything in attack despite playing behind the most dynamic player on the US.
The deeper position suited him, but there was a bit of over-reliance and predictability to his game. He looked more comfortable, but probably needs more help to make more incisive passes forward.
He did well pressuring from the front, but none of it necessarily ended in great final product.
He only played a half, but a freer role with Bradley staying at home saw him get more involved setting up Nagbe for a half chance.
Kljestan had moments, but connecting in the final third was a weakness for the entire team. There is promise, but it would have been more reassuring to see a more assertive performance against Serbia.
Almost everything good that the US did went through Nagbe. He was good in tight spaces and made dangerous runs. The only question mark was his finishing/final decision where he could probably have picked out players instead of taking the shot himself.
His hold-up play was good but not great. He didn’t get much service in dangerous positions so it is hard to judge him too harshly.
He came on at halftime and his direct play helped push the initiative a bit. He was sloppy at times with his distribution which provided Serbia with counterattacks.
He came close to scoring at the end of the game, but his shot was wide. Like most of the US attack, he never found much of a rhythm and floated around the periphery of the game.
Solid defensively, and showed a bit more willingness to get into attack than Garza.
His movement was good as he was able to get behind the Serbia defense a couple of times. It would be interesting to see him paired with Altidore.
The ball seemed to move quicker once he saw the field. His willingness and ability to attempt the more intricate pass could be helpful in games against teams that are packing the box.
He did nearly get a chance that eventually fell to Pontius, but he was on for such a short time, he does not get a rating.