In unfortunately familiar news, D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid has been forced to drop out of the USMNT’s January camp due to a knee problem. Last year, a knee injury picked up during camp ended up requiring surgery, and Hamid ended up missing several months. US Soccer announced today’s bad news on Twitter:
While the USSF release did not go into the details of the injury, the Washington Post’s Steve Goff had more information. Per Goff, Hamid’s injury is to his right knee, the same side that sustained last year’s injury. The good news is that an MRI performed by US Soccer’s doctors apparently came back negative, so it seems unlikely that Hamid will miss months again. However, if his knee injury is some kind of sprain or meniscus inflammation, he would still miss at least some of United’s preseason.
The timing of the injury is brutal for Hamid’s USMNT hopes. Jurgen Klinsmann, among other problems, seemed unable to evaluate goalkeepers with any real insight, eventually listing Hamid is being on the fringes of the national team. This was to be Bruce Arena’s first USMNT camp since taking over the job, and with Tim Howard being given the winter off and Brad Guzan still playing in England, the list of keepers called in seemed to be all about looking for a third option to join the full squad.
Arena has opted not to call in a replacement for Hamid, so the remaining goalkeepers - Nick Rimando, David Bingham, Luis Robles, and Stefan Frei - will compete to impress their new coach. Frei is not yet eligible to play for the USMNT (he’s completing that process, but is not done yet), while Rimando is currently 37 years old. Most likely, Hamid’s real competition going into camp was Bingham - who quietly had a stellar season for an otherwise moribund San Jose Earthquakes team - and Robles. Now, he won’t get a chance to make his case, at least for the next few months.