BRIAN SCIARETTA - Wednesday, August 31, 2011
As the US national team opens camp this week in California, Bill Hamid is looking to use the opportunity to cement his position as the number two keeper behind longtime veteran Tim Howard.
Hamid, 20, earned his first national team call up earlier in the month when new head coach Jurgen Klinsmann named him to the roster for the friendly against Mexico.
Hamid did not play in that game, he is hopeful to get his first cap against either Costa Rica or Belgium during this international window. Despite suffering a hamstring injury last week, Hamid is confident heading into camp.
"I am ready to go," Hamid told YA. "I just wanted to get over my injury for national team camp. That was my focus and once I did get the call I was very happy. I felt like I did well during my first call up last month training-wise."
Hamid is not just satisfied with how he played in US national team camp on the field but he felt that the experience was a terrific opportunity to learn.
While in camp, Hamid took in the coaching from Klinsmann but also watched the training method from many of the teams veterans like Howard, Carlos Bocanegra and Landon Donovan. The experience shaped the way he has trained with DC in the weeks since he rejoined DC
"I was just going to work hard and listen to everything," Hamid recalled of his first national team camp. "I wanted to enjoy it but also take as much as I possibly could from it and use it for my game in DC. To be able to do that was amazing."
Now just a few weeks later, Hamid is in California for his second time with the national team.
Hamid insists that the mental approach will be the same this time around and that he is not in awe of the situation. The biggest reason is that his experiences at DC United this year have prepared him to handle the high-pressure situations.
"I think it is the same thing," Hamid stated. "I have been able to play a bunch of games for DC this year and that is given me the experience to come into an environment like this. To be a starter for a team and play week-in-week-out you have to be calm. And that is my situation right now with my club team and I am looking to transfer that over to the national team now."
As he looks to become a regular with the US team, Hamid could become the next player from DC United to achieve international success.
Hamid has seen the way elite clubs in Europe have trained and developed players and feels that the way DC head coach Ben Olsen trains his players is comparable. Hamid makes no secret that he would eventually like to move to Europe in the future but for now he is satisfied with his progress at United.
"I have been to Europe and I have seen their training and I think DC is a great environment for a young player to develop," Hamid pointed out. "We have a history now for younger guys who want to make the jump to Europe one day and we have a young coach that is doing extremely well. The training we have now is superb but playing in games every week is the main thing that helps me."
For now, Hamid remains focused on the immediate future of securing a steady spot on the US national team and helping DC United qualify for the MLS playoffs. Still, he does admit that now having had a taste of the national team he has begun to focus on making the US World Cup team in 2014.
"I have certain goals set for myself," Hamid concluded. "I definitely want to be at the next World Cup. I want to gain experience first. It is three years away and who knows how I will be playing or where I will be playing club-wise."
"Three years is a long time. I definitely think a lot about the world cup and I think about opportunities with the national team a lot more now."