Hamid relishes first call to national team

Hamid (ISIphotos)

Photo by Michael Pimentel/ISIphotos.com

By AVI CREDITOR

WASHINGTON — D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid thought he was being spammed by a telemarketer.

Nope, it's just new U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann offering an opportunity of a lifetime.

"I saw a message (on the phone) and it was an awkward number so I thought it was a telemarketer," Hamid said. "So I checked it like an hour later after I ate lunch, and it happened to be Jurgen Klinsmann. I was shocked. As soon as I heard the voice I knew it was him."

And he knew what the call meant, even if he put the phone down and didn't listen to the message all the way through out of sheer emotion.

Hamid will be getting the chance to represent his country.

Hamid's inclusion on the United States' roster for next week's friendly at Mexico is a landmark moment in the progression of someone who has been projected to be a future international star but is still in the infancy of his professional career.

In his first season as a full-time starter, the 20-year-old Hamid has blossomed, especially since bouncing back from one of his roughest outings, a 4-2 loss to San Jose on June 11. Since then, a more composed, confident Hamid has been the backbone behind D.C.'s improved defensive effort.

"He's probably not there on a consistent level yet, but I kind of go back to the game we lost to San Jose, he was the first guy to come in and say 'I wasn't happy with how I played,'" said D.C. goalkeeper coach Pat Onstad, who has taken Hamid under his wing since joining the D.C. staff.

"Since then he's turned things around and played very well, and that's important. You have to go through your ups and downs as a goalkeeper. Bill's always relied on that athletic ability, but now in this stage he's realizing that the hard work in training is helping him get out of those slumps."

While he's embraced the hard-work aspect to the job, Hamid's raw physical and vocal attributes are what make him a candidate to remain in the U.S. picture for years to come.

At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, he represents an imposing force between the posts. He's aggresive in coming off his line, communicates well and is capable of making the spectacular save. Most importantly, he's eager to learn and improve.

"Bill's at a good place right now," Onstad said. "He's done all the hard work, he's got confidence in his ability and he knows he's put the work in to get that confidence. He's in a perfect place to get this opportunity."

D.C. coach Ben Olsen thinks that the pairing of Onstad and Hamid has been instrumental to the player's growth in his second season since becoming the first D.C. United player to sign straight from the team's academy.

"He's tailor-made for Bill," Olsen said. "(Hamid)'s a young keeper who's very athletic and can make the big save. Pat is a very smart goalkeeper and very experienced and can pass on all the knowledge that he's had, whether its communication or staying up and not always looking for the big save. All these technical things that the average soccer fan doesn't think about."

Following Saturday night's important home game against Toronto FC, Hamid can start preparing for life in a national-team jersey for the first of what he hopes to be many times. He'll back up Tim Howard, one of the players after whom he's tried to model his game, against Mexico while trying to show Klinsmann that for at least the next three years, whether it's for the Olympic team or the senior national team, he belongs in the U.S. picture.

"I just want to take it in and work hard," Hamid said. "Jurgen said that he wants guys that want to get better on a day-by-day basis. That's definitely something in my mind. I want to get better and show him that I want to be one for the future, or one soon. I want to work hard and be in his plans."

This entry was posted in MLS- D.C. United, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Hamid relishes first call to national team

  1. Will-SBI says:

    I am very excited about this news.

  2. Kea says:

    Good article, good story

  3. OmarVizquel says:

    Mmmm….relish……

  4. mistadobolina says:

    hope that Tim Howard can train him well.. keep up the good work Hamid and ur going to the Olympics next summer! along with half of DC’s defense.

  5. NE Matt says:

    Great story. So happy for the kid!

  6. mistadobolina says:

    is he the first MLS “home grown” to be called up? i can’t think of a previous one…

  7. Naboo says:

    good job billlllll!!

  8. mistadobolina says:

    to the senior team that is..

  9. john.q says:

    agudelo was called up before but im not sure if he’s the first ever either.

  10. mistadobolina says:

    besides Agudelo..duh.

  11. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    I love seeing athletes who are truly proud to represent their country. Nothing better in all of sports, IMO. Good luck, Bill!

  12. Matt says:

    now if only they had fired Bob Bradley a year earlier…

    Yes I know this doesn’t make sense here, but didn’t make sense anywhere else I read it either. Either way, glad to see the potential future of the USMNT goalkeeper situation get a call up. I hope Jurgen gives him a half against Mexico to get his feet wet.

  13. MiamiAl says:

    The younger goal keeper pool is quite thin. Good move to get Hamid some experience. He is a stud! He will be the next Keeper for the USMNT after Howard.

  14. Dino1er says:

    Dan Kennedy should have been called in.

  15. Really? says:

    Aren’t these quotes from Steven Goffs article in the Washington Post? No reference at all???

  16. Alex says:

    I know for sure Agudelo was the first Academy product to SCORE for the men’s team. And I think he was the first to get a cap. Hamid’s definitely the first keeper. (As if that weren’t obvious enough.)

  17. ACS says:

    Still needs to shave his head to fit in.

  18. In Support of Goff says:

    It’s not the first time…

  19. Avi Creditor says:

    You guys are aware that multiple reporters attend the same training sessions, yes?

  20. Jacob ATL says:

    He actually did in the offseason, prompting many jokes about how it meant it was time for the call up then.

  21. KevDC says:

    Absent any evidence to the contrary, I’d assume that Hamid told the same story to more than one reporter — either in a conference call or separately.

    I’m a Goff fan, too, but you don’t toss this kind of accusation out lightly at a journalist. Give SBI and Avi Creditor a break.

    —-

    EDIT: Just saw Creditor weighed in before me. Figured it was something like that.

  22. joel says:

    congrats bill!

  23. JoeW says:

    First, the pool of young keepers isn’t thin–there’s a lot of good talent coming up or in MLS.

    Second, I didn’t expect it but Hamid shows tremendous promise and I think this is going to push him even further.

  24. Aquaman says:

    Is Sean Johnson a homegrown or academy player because he played in the Chile match in January.

  25. socrates says:

    Depends on the definition of “young.” Howard is born in 1979. Younger than him, by year, we have, among others:

    80 -
    81- D. Yelldell, W. Hesmer, T. Perkins
    82 – M. Pickens, D. Kennedy
    83-
    84 – B. Guzan, L. Robles
    85 – T. Hall, D. Cepero
    86 – D. Cervi, Q. Westberg, M. Allen, A. Dykstra
    87 – C. Seitz
    88 – D. Restrepo
    89 – S. Johnson, B. Perk, J. Bendik
    90 – B. Hamid, J. Lambo
    91 – Z. MacMath, J. Luthy
    92 – S. Badr, E. Edwards, S. Richey, B. Sylvestre
    93- C. Crooper, J. Kempin, B. Cisneros

  26. Aquaman says:

    Oops, just answered my own question through interwebs research. He is not, since he went to UCF.

  27. This Guy says:

    Should’ve been Sean Johnson!

  28. Dave says:

    I really like Hamid. Great kid. Really happy for him.

  29. Roll Tide! eff LSU! says:

    Great story. You could really feel happy for him when you read the part about him not listening to the entire message and he knew what it was about. Great Emotion!

  30. abc says:

    Yes but you stole his tape recorder didn’t you!?!

  31. abc says:

    I’m really happy to see Hamid finally get the call, he deserves it. He has all the skills to become a top international goalkeeper if he keeps up the hard work and continues to improve.

    David Yelldell and Brad Guzan are the only two after Howard that I would put in front of Hamid currently, and they should be worrying about their club situations instead of the Mexico friendly. Sean Johnson also shows promise but I think Hamid has more upside AND is currently performing at a higher level.

  32. abc says:

    Most of those guys are pretty much irrelevant, imo.

    79- Howard, Rimando
    81- Yelldell
    84- Guzan, Robles
    85- Hall
    86- Cervi, Westberg
    89- Johnson
    90- Hamid
    91- MacMath
    91- Badr
    93- Cropper

  33. DirtyLeeds says:

    No way bro, have you not heard of the space time continuum?

  34. gigi says:

    woah hes 20, thats young for a gk. i wonder who the youngest gk to get a call up is, hes got to be up there right? Tim howard got his first call up round 22 or 23 i believe. Good for Hamid though to get involved at the international level at such a young age.

  35. gigi says:

    alright, now im really curious, anyone know who the youngest gk to get a call up is?

  36. gigi says:

    danny cepero retired sadly i believe :( his goal will live in infamy though

  37. JoeW says:

    Back in the days PRE-NASL or between NASL and MLS, you probably had a bunch of guys who were in college being called up. Mike Winter earned a cap with the USNT when he was 20. Arnie Mauser got his first cap when he was 21. David Brcic was either 20 or 21 when he earned his first cap. Bruce Arena got a cap when he was 21 I think. Bob Rigby got his first cap at either 21 or 22. Keller’s first cap was at 21. But the guy who beats them all is Tony Meola who got his first cap when he was 19 I believe.