As a veteran on the field with D.C. United, Bill Hamid needs no introduction. Hamid has been making history since signing as the club’s first Homegrown player in 2009.12 years later, he's now making history in a different way. After D.C. United's 3-0 win against Chicago Fire FC on September 15, Hamid equaled current D.C. United Director of Goalkeeping and MLS legend, Zach Thornton, for most regular season clean sheets.
Hamid now stands in the number six spot on the list with 76 clean sheets in 259 appearances. After Hamid equaled his MLS record, Thornton, his goalkeeping coach since January 2015, spoke proudly about the accomplishment.
"I'm really happy for Bill; he's played for a while and has been a good player in this league for a long time. Records are meant to be broken. Hopefully, he can go on and break the all-time shutout record."
Thornton also touched on why he believes Hamid has been able to reach such high levels of play in MLS and what differentiates the 30-year-old from other goalkeepers.
“It's his mindset, his mentality. He's a great shot-stopper. He's very analytical when it comes to the game, breaking tape down. It's detail-oriented. So, I think those things and his work ethic are what set him apart."
Hamid touched on some of the key factors that have helped him stay at the top of and improve his game over the last 12 seasons. The Black-and-Red goalkeeper explained how it is not only about his physical fitness, but also his mental preparation.
“First off, to stay on top of my game, I pray. It's very important to me. I think that directly aligns with how well you play and the success that you have.” Hamid continued, “One of the most important aspects of my regimen is yoga, to keep my flexibility and agility up. And then, from there, the sauna to get the toxins out of my body. I think the more you get those toxins out of your body, the more you see that you move freely, not only on the field but in everyday life.”
Climbing up the list of MLS all-time clean sheets was not the only feat that Hamid has achieved in 2021. The D.C. United goalkeeper's performances were also recognized by the EA SPORTS newest version of the game, FIFA 22. The Homegrown goalkeeper currently ranks third in the top 10 goalkeepers in the league, sitting behind only Philadelphia’s Andre Blake and New England’s Matt Turner. A recognition he was thrilled about from growing up playing the game.
“It's cool because as a soccer player, you play FIFA your whole life. All the kids, all the guys that I play with now, grew up playing FIFA, so to get that recognition from EA Sports is cool. So hopefully, everybody buys me when they play.”
Hamid's resilience and desire to be the best for his team and city have given him the edge needed to stay at the forefront of the conversation for best MLS goalkeeper over the last decade. In his last 15 games, he has recorded six clean sheets, 31 saves and has been an integral part of the Black-and-Red climbing the Eastern Conference standings in 2021.
It's been 12 years since Hamid initially signed with his boyhood club and 12 years of the goalkeeper making a profound impact both on and off the field for D.C. United. As the team push for playoffs, Hamid will be a critical piece as United eye a deep run in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs.