Bill Hamid hasn’t really had much of an offseason.
The 20-year-old goalkeeper barely took any time off since D.C. United’s season ended last October. Since then, he’s bounced from a straining stint at West Bromwich Albion in England to various US training camps with both the Under-23s and full national team.
For Hamid, the demanding offseason hasn’t been too taxing. It’s just part of getting where we wants to go.
“I feel sharp. I feel fine,” he told reporters last week. “My body, you feel it here and there, but that’s part of being young – you have to push through it, and that’s how you get better day by day.”
United head coach Ben Olsen has also noticed the effect training and playing at a high level for most of the offseason has had on his form since rejoining D.C. United shortly after the start of preseason.
“Coming back from national team duty and Olympic duty, he’s been fantastic,” Olsen said. “He’s a new guy, has an air of confidence about him right now that’s very exciting for us to see. It seems like he’s in a very good place.”
D.C. will need their young goalkeeper to continue improving this year if they hope to finally end their postseason drought.
At different points, however, they may not be able to call on Hamid’s services. Since catching the eye of Jurgen Klinsmann, the DC-area native has received a handful of national team call-ups with the first team. He’s also expected to be a member of the US U-23 Olympic team during qualification in March and possibly Olympic duty in London in the summer.
No matter how any of that pans out, though, the former D.C. Academy standout won’t let that get in his way of doing his best for his club.
“That’s not a distraction, that’s motivation,” he said. “That makes me want to work harder, and me working harder makes me play better. I bring it back here. I just want to be the best Bill I can for the teammates here.”
It’s clear that Hamid will have to deal with some lofty expectations this year at the club level. But like his national team aspirations, that only serves as motivation to be the best player he can be for club and country.
“I’m really happy that there are expectations on my shoulders now,” he said. “I am the type of person that I hate failure, so now that I have expectations, it just makes me want to work harder and help everyone I can around me.”