As one of just two goalies named to the original list for U.S. Soccer’s upcoming training camp, it’s pretty clear D.C. United goalie Bill Hamid can count USMNT Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann among his many fans.
Former U.S. World Cup star Eric Wynalda, on the other hand, sees things quite differently.
“I'm not a big fan of Bill Hamid,” Wynalda said Wednesday during his daily show on XM Satellite Radio. “Everybody says that this guy is great. I don’t get it, I’ve never seen so many shots [go] between the [legs]."
While Wynalda is known for his controversial — and often overstated — opinions, Hamid seems like an odd target for the longtime broadcaster.
The Northern Virginia native followed up his 2014 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year campaign with more solid play this past season. Despite undergoing multiple mid-season surgeries, Hamid still accounted for eight shutouts in 2015. His 101 saves ranked 5th in Major League Soccer last year.
In fact, among goalies who made at least 12 appearances, only Seattle’s Stefan Frei (77.1%) had a higher save percentage than Hamid (75.9%).
"He looks athletic at times and I think to the untrained eye you say wow this guy is good, this guy is great,” Wynalda continued. “[He’s] so out of position ninety percent of the time, I don’t know what to make of it. As a forward I would love to play against this guy.”
Wynalda’s credentials (3 World Cups and 106 international appearances) are beyond reproach, but his criticisms of Hamid sound a lot like those levied against the goalkeeper earlier in his career. In recent years, there’s little debate that Hamid is among the best goalies in MLS.
“When [Hamid] was younger he looked like he had these nervous dispositions,” noted former U.S. goalie Brad Friedel, who joined Wynalda for an interview later on during the same show. “When he played more and more games, those little tendencies grow out of you. He’s had a couple of really good seasons with D.C. United and he’s one of the goalies this year that performed really well throughout the year.”
Hamid will be joined by goalkeepers David Bingham [San Jose Earthquakes] and Luis Robles [New York Red Bulls] in the upcoming U.S. camp. The camp runs for just over three weeks before culminating with international friendlies on January 31 (vs. Iceland) and February 5 (vs. Canada).
MORE D.C. UNITED: D.C. United land one of Major League Soccer’s fastest players