How's Houston treating you?
Bill Hamid: It’s good. We just got here last night, but it’s been good so far.
BH: No, no – It wasn’t that long of a flight, so we got here and we’ve had some time to rest.
How was training camp in sunny California? It was in the teens in DC last week, so we’re all a little jealous of the nice weather you must have got.
BH: It went well. I feel like I’ve been doing the best I can, I feel extremely sharp right now in terms of goalkeeping and my movement and I just hope that Jurgen [Klinsmann] sees that.
Any indication from Klinsmann as to whether you’ll see time on the field tomorrow?
Alright, well we’ll tune in tonight [at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2] and see. So, how did you feel when you got the call that you were back in January camp?
BH: It felt good. I know for some time going in that I was going to get the call, but to see the press release come out, it just felt good. Out of all the goalies here, I’ve been called to the most National Team camps and it’s amazing to be here, learn here and try to impress and show what I can do.
How is it being teammates with so many players that you match up against on a weekly basis in MLS?
BH: It’s kind of funny. We make fun of each other and we talk about each other’s clubs. It’s all fun and games, but these are a bunch of great guys who are strong players for their own personal clubs and they’re all well-established in this league, so when they bring a bunch of us together, it’s just a good, hard-working core of players that want to represent their country.
Who in particular have you bonded with the most while at camp?
BH: Everybody, pretty much. I’m roommates with Alfredo Morales, but everybody’s cool. Everyone’s been hanging out and talking. Joshua Gatt from Norway, Alfredo my roommate, Juan Agudelo, Eddie Johnson – all these guys, you know?
We’ve seen on Twitter some epic FIFA 13 throwdowns between you and the guys. Who has given you the most competition?
BH: I think Josh [Gatt]? Alfredo has gotten better throughout the camp – at first he was losing to everybody. But, all these guys are good. We’re all soccer players, so that’s pretty much all we do after practice and the end of our season anyways, so they were excited when they saw I brought my Playstation.
What’s the biggest thing you learned this past season with D.C. United that you took to this camp?
BH: It’s just another year of experience. As a young goalkeeper, it’s a good thing for me to be playing – this year, I just turned 22. Last year, I was 21 throughout the season, and it’s a good thing for me to be playing game in and game out and getting that experience. I think I’ve done fairly well, and I just want to carry the knowledge and experience to the next year and continue progressing and this year, remain consistent and dominate. I feel like I can be one of the best in this league, if not the best, so now it’s all about getting the experience to prove it.
What kind of feedback has Klinsmann and the other coaches given you during these past couple of weeks?
BH: Positive feedback – that I’m much more mature in goal, a lot more composed. They’re happy with how I’ve come into camp in shape and my work rate. The feedback has been very positive and they just encourage me to continue remaining consistent in games and in training because being called into this camp, you’re in the mix. There’s a lot going on this year in terms of World Cup qualifiers, Gold Cup and the World Cup next year, so they’ve just encouraged me to keep my head on right and keep working hard and remain consistent, and the chips will fall in the right place.
You might be facing United teammates Dwayne De Rosario and Dejan Jakovic on the opposite side of the pitch tomorrow for the first time in a U.S. jersey – what would that be like?
BH: It will be cool. It’ll be cool to play against some teammates who play for another nation. It will be awkward a bit, knowing that Dejan is usually my roommate on trips and usually the guy who’s standing right in front of me in the games, but you know, it’s always an honor to play for your nation and I’m sure they feel the same way for Canada. So, I’m just going to take it all in and do my best, if I get the chance.
What do you think their greatest strengths are on the field?
BH: Dwayne [De Rosario] is always a challenge. He’s always good with the ball at his feet. He’s a great finisher. He’s savvy with the ball at his feet, so he’s always a threat, always someone you gotta watch out for. And [Canada] seems like they’re putting out a young feisty group that’s going to work hard and get a result, so if you have a team like that, you always have to remain focus and realize they’re a threat and go out there and get the job done.
What’s your overall goals with D.C. and the National Team this year?
BH: My goals for this season are basically to do what I can and control the controllables, play the best I can and be the best teammate as possible. Get D.C. United to the playoffs again and beyond – that’s always the goal. A championship is always the goal for every team in the beginning of the year, so we want a trophy. That’s the goal and we’re going to do what we need to do to gain trophies. At the same time, with the National Team, I want to be more of a part of it as well. I want to be a part of World Cup qualifiers, the Gold Cup, everything. So, whatever I can do individually to build up to that, it’s all linked up – how good I am a teammate, how good I am an individual footballer and how good I help my team on and off the field will all lead to the National Team and the places I want to be.