After nearly a decade as a professional with D.C. United, it appears that Bill Hamid’s time with the club is coming to an end. Steve Goff of the Washington Post first tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that Hamid had his sights set on a new destination, followed up by this report. Hamid, who was signed as United’s first-ever homegrown player in 2009, is the team leader in wins for a goalkeeper, saves, and shutouts.
When reached for confirmation by Black and Red United, D.C. United declined to comment.
The recent acquisition of Steve Clark, United’s starter in the last few games even after Hamid recovered from a back injury, seemed to indicate that United were planning for a future without the services of Hamid. The team had extended several offers to Hamid during this year, the last of Hamid’s contract with the Black-and-Red, but were rebuffed each time. Black and Red United have also learned the team has never received an offer for Hamid's services that came close to the $2 million they received when Andy Najar transferred to RSC Anderlecht after the 2012 season.
Hamid missed out on games last month against the New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew SC due to injury, but was left home healthy this past weekend when United traveled west to play against the Portland Timbers. There is no word whether he will play in the club’s final-ever game at RFK Stadium this Sunday.
Hamid, a northern Virginia native, was originally signed to his homegrown deal on September 2nd, 2009, but was ineligible to play in MLS games that year. He could have played in the team’s CONCACAF Champions League games, but he did not make his professional debut until May 5th, 2010. In a 2-1 win over the then Kansas City Wizards, Hamid, at the age of 19, became the youngster keeper in MLS history to win a game, beating a mark previously held by Tim Howard.
Hamid made eight league appearances in 2010, but became United’s first choice during Ben Olsen’s first year as the club’s full-time head coach in 2011. The position became Hamid’s for most of his tenure, save an early 2012 stretch when Joe Willis took over for Hamid. However, injuries plagued Hamid during his career with the Black-and-Red. Only once did he appear in 30 league games, and that came back in 2014, when he won the award for the best keeper in MLS.
In between, those injuries slowed his growth, and also hindered his chances with the United States national team. Hamid has three caps to his name, most recently in a win this summer at the Gold Cup. He had to pull out of several different January camps due to injuries, both under Jurgen Klinsmann’s and Bruce Arena’s helms as manager. Had the U.S. made next summer’s World Cup, Hamid might have considered staying with United to ensure playing time, in hopes of making the team. Instead, with the U.S. missing out on the tournament for the first time since 1986, that burden doesn’t exist.
If Hamid chooses to head overseas, United will not receive any compensation for the move, as Hamid’s contract has expired. However, as United tendered a bona fide offer, the Black-and-Red will maintain his MLS rights. As Hamid doesn’t qualify for MLS free agency just yet, any move within MLS (an unlikely prospect, but still possible) would require a trade.