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DC 'keeper Hamid hopeful of earning first US cap

United youngster appreciates the experience, but eyes playing time

WASHINGTON — The development of D.C. United’s promising young goalkeeper Bill Hamid continues to catch the eye of the new US national team coaching staff.

Hamid received his second US call-up last Thursday, and this week he will join the national team ahead of friendlies against Costa Rica (Friday) and Belgium (Sept. 6).

“The more times for a guy like him that he can gain that sort of experience, it’s so valuable,” assistant coach Chad Ashton told MLSsoccer.com.

US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann first called Hamid as a backup to Tim Howard for the friendly against Mexico on Aug. 10. That camp comprised only a few days of training in Philadelphia prior to the game, and Hamid didn’t get a chance to play. However, he did do enough to earn a second look thanks to some solid play in camp.

This time, though, he'd jump at the chance to get on the field.

“I’m 20 years old — I would love it, would love to jump on the field and play,” he said. “But right now my main focus is to go in and work my tail off and if I get the call, I get the call, and I’m going to perform and do what I do best.”

Earning his first cap seems likely with two games on the immediate horizon, and with the Olympics just a less than a year away, the schedule offers Hamid another chance to impress. The 20-year-old is a prime candidate to make the U-23 Olympic qualifying team.

But the call-up could also be advantageous to D.C. United in the long run, as Hamid continues to grow and learn from Howard, the national team’s established No. 1.

“It’s huge to be able to experience that and get on the same training field as Tim Howard, watch Tim Howard go through the routine he goes through,” Ashton said.

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Travis Clark covers D.C. United, college and youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter: @travismclark.