2016 got off to a rocky start for Bill Hamid. While in camp with the United States Men’s National Team in January, he became injured and was sent home. That injury turned out to be a torn meniscus, and Hamid underwent surgery on January 21st to repair it. The timetable for recovery: 4-6 months, which kept the 25-year-old goalkeeper out of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals against Queretaro, which D.C. United lost, and a large chunk of the start of the 2016 MLS season.
Hamid worked hard to get himself back into action, and his return was against Sporting Kansas City on May 27th in a spectacular 1-0 victory that included a 2.5 hour delayed start to the match and then an hour weather delay at halftime. Hamid continued his hot streak from there, going 3-1-1 in his first 5 matches with 3 shutouts and only 3 goals allowed. His hot streak came at an opportune time. While the offense stagnated throughout July and August, Hamid’s incredible play allowed the Black-and-Red to compete and earn results. His play between the posts finally allowed United to creep back into the playoff chase.
Despite missing 14 league matches, the most he’s missed since becoming the starting goalkeeper back in 2011, the team’s first-ever homegrown player had 5 shutouts in the 20 matches he started. He was 6th in the league in goals allowed average (1.25), 15th in saves (70), and 3rd in save percentage (74.5%). Those are the stats of a man who played possessed once he returned to the lineup for the bulk of the season.
Bill Hamid is still one of the best keepers not just in MLS but also the USMNT player pool (we think Jurgen Klinsmann’s belief that Hamid is 6th or 7th on the depth chart is just flat out untrue). He still needs to get better at his positioning, because even though it sometimes creates "did you see that" save moments, it can also lead to bad goals or plays that could have been completed more efficiently. Improving his positioning in the box and on opposing scoring chances will make his saves easier and more plentiful. The other thing that we can hope to see from Hamid is to have him between the posts for every match. He has missed 25 matches over the past couple seasons due to injury and if United wants to progress, they need their big man in the back.
The talk of Bill Hamid possibly leaving the club for Europe, talk that has sustained for the better part of 2 seasons, did not cease in 2016. Some may feel that for Bill to take the next step in his game, he should ply his trade in England or elsewhere in Europe. Still, with Hamid still under contract for the next couple seasons, he could stake his claim as the best goalkeeper in MLS. This is another one of the easy questions, but I’ll ask it anyway: