Fittingly enough, Juergen Klinsmann's first match as the head coach for the United States soccer program will be USA vs. Mexico this Wednesday evening in Philadelphia. At least one new face will be joining Klinsmann's roster, as the Soccer Insider is reporting that D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid will get his first callup.
Hamid was the first homegrown player ever signed from the D.C. United Academy that has now contributed multiple starters to United's full team roster, including Andy Najar and Ethan White.
After getting off to a slow start to the 2011 season following his recovery from offseason surgery, Hamid has been very impressive of late, leading his team to three shutouts in their past four matches, with a goals against average of 0.25 in that span. United's whole backline deserves some credit for that improvement, but Hamid has handled every test that's been thrown at him. He's already come a long way since beating out Troy Perkins to be D.C.'s starter last year.
Hamid might be best known for his physical presence (he's 6'-3" and a very muscular 225 lbs), but his shot-stopping ability and decision-making has rightfully earned him a spot in the rotation for Klinsmann's national team. The 20-year old considers Tim Howard to be his idol, and he deserves the opportunity to join Howard on the roster for the USA vs. Mexico friendly. The match can be seen on Wednesday August 10 at 9:00 PM on ESPN2.
From a D.C. perspective, we as fans should be thrilled to see Hamid take this next step in his soccer journey. Its been a pleasure watching him mature both as a player and as a person, and its great to see his hard work being rewarded by Klinnsman. Also, since Hamid will be away from United for four days, we might actually get the answer to our previous question - Will Steve Cronin ever play for D.C. United? - next Saturday against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Congrats Bill. Think of this as just the beginning of the second chapter of your soccer career.