Intern extraordinaire Matt Sincaglia sat down with United goalkeeper Bill Hamid today to talk about training with the U.S. Men’s National Team the last two days, and playing next to his idol, Tim Howard.
Behind the Badge: How has it been training with the U.S. National team the last couple of days?
Bill Hamid: The national team has been a good experience. I’m happy to have the opportunity to be around those guys. I mean we have world-class guys here at D.C. [United], but here are guys who have been to World Cups, play in the EPL. To be amongst them is an amazing opportunity.
BTB: Tim Howard is your boyhood idol. How has it been training with him between the pipes?
BH: When I first walked on the field and saw him I was very quiet. I didn’t know what to say to him, but to stand behind the goal and watch him, watch his form, and hear his advice, and him being my role model since forever, I’m very thankful for the opportunity.
BTB: Are there any routines that you have witnessed that you’ll try to emulate?
BH: You know, just the way he moves his feet, the way he gets set, how big he plays, I mean it’s eye-opening.
BTB: You mentioned him giving you advice. What has he told you?
BH: Just to stay set. I tend to have a little hop to be comfortable when I’m getting set, but just to stay set. And just the all-around confidence that he gave to me. I think that will help.
BTB: How will the overall experience benefit you in your career?
BH: I think it will benefit me greatly. I mean, I hope to be at their stage one day in the near future. I hope it takes me to bigger and better places. I get to get a look-see from Bob Bradley and coach Zak [Abdel] with the national team, and coach John Hackworth. I’ve seen them around a couple times, but for them to see me, I know it’s a good stepping stone for me in the future to have those guys know who I am.
BTB: You mention this being a stepping-stone. The U.S. has a plethora of world-class goalkeepers. What do you see for the future of the position on the national team and the possibility of seeing yourself out there in the future?
BH: All I can do is hope, other than work hard every day and hopefully I’ll be involved. From U-17’s to U-20’s to U-23’s there are world-class guys like Dominic Cervi at Celtic and you have Brian Perk, who is the starter for the U-20’s. The U.S. has a ton of goalkeepers that can fill the void of the past brilliance that the U.S. has had with goalkeepers, so I’m just going to keep working hard and maybe one day I can be a part of it.
(photo by Matt Mathai)