The U.S. men's national team's match against Serbia was, by and large, exactly what one would expect from a January camp outing right after a World Cup. It was sloppy, disjointed and chaotic. It also featured a whole bunch of new players, with a few making the kinds of mistakes that new players make.
But it also included some incredibly promising performances from a few potential USMNT stars who are just beginning their international careers.
Brandon Vazquez produced the USMNT's lone goal in the 2-1 defeat, with Luka Ilic and Veljko Simic providing the scoring for the visitors. Like the USMNT, Serbia showed up in Los Angeles with a young, inexperienced squad, but it avoided the range of errors that cost the Stars and Stripes to seal the victory.
Despite the mistakes, this will go down as a positive night for the USMNT. A total of eight players made their international debut, including the potential goalkeeper and striker of the future. A few others, most notably Cade Cowell, proved to be entirely different players than the ones we've seen before in a USMNT shirt.
January camp, in many ways, is about finding those players and giving them the nurturing they need to join the A-team. On Wednesday, a few players showed that they're ready for that leap and, with that in mind, Wednesday night was a win for the USMNT, even if the scoreboard said it wasn't.