The U.S. Men's National Team and Serbia played to 0-0 draw Sunday in Bruce Arena's first match in his second run as head coach. Both Sporting Kansas City players saw time with Graham Zusi getting the start and Benny Feilhaber replacing Sacha Kljestan in the 77th minute.
For Feilhaber, it was his first appearance for the U.S. in three years and appeared to play well, opening the attack up more than the starters were able to do.
Zusi played the full 90 minutes at right back and earned the praise of Arena. “"I think our back line played well," Arena noted after the match."The Zusi experiment at right back I think was productive today. He played well."
A lot of questions remain for Arena. Serbia was far from an “A” team with domestic just Serbian league players and had a long travel to get to the match. Correspondingly the U.S. were in a fitness heavy camp and as mostly MLS player team were not in midseason form.
With Zusi having played so few games at right back, he played a solid defense and got into the attack but did he earn more time at right back? When Arena has the full team where does Zusi fall in the right back depth chart?
Even if Zusi does not fall in the top two spots at right back, he may still have a spot on the team because of his new found added versatility.
What about Benny?
He did appear to open the game up when he entered the match in the 77th but was that indicative of his skill or entering a match versus tired legs?
Arena released midfielders Jermaine Jones and Sacha Kljestan from camp after the match with Serbia. Jones is suspended for the U.S. MNT's March 24 World Cup Qualifying match versus Honduras and needs to see his options before that game. Kljestan’s wife is expecting to deliver in the next few days and he has been allowed to go home for that event.
Bruce Arena may give Feilhaber more time to prove himself against Jamaica Friday with two midfielders that started the last game out of camp.
Let us know if either Zusi or Feilhaber deserve some more time from Arena.