With eight days to go until Santa arrives with gifts and games for all, we are reminded of the incredible eight-save performance that Bill Hamid gave us against New York City FC at Yankee Stadium in September. The 1-1 draw earned United a crucial point in the race for the MLS Cup Playoffs and landed Hamid on the MLS Team of the Week for Week 28.
Hamid came under fire almost immediately against David Villa and the Boys in Blue. In the fourth minute of the match, Villa opened up and tried to rifle a shot by Hamid at his near post. Hamid quickly went to ground to stifle the Spaniard’s attempt on goal.
Hamid was then called to action on an odd-angled attempt in the 11th minute of the contest. Valentín Castellanos gathered the ball on the right wing and unleashed a powerful shot to the top of the net. Hamid rose to deflect the ball away from his goal for the second save of the game.
Valentín again tested Hamid’s reflexes in the 30th minute with a quick snapshot that was placed to Hamid’s near post. Hamid was well positioned and made the save look easy.
Perhaps the most difficult save of the night occurred in the 53rd minute. Ronald Matarrita stepped into the ball and unleashed a low driven shot to Hamid’s left side. Hamid dove down low, popped the ball up into the air with a brilliant save, and ended up hugging the ball like a child who received the gift he has always wanted for Christmas.
Matarrita again tested Hamid’s goalkeeping abilities in the 68th minute. Just as presents are wrapped before Christmas, the midfielder attempted to wrap his shot around Hamid and into his far post. Hamid dove to his right and swatted the ball to the wayside to keep his clean sheet alive.
Villa got on the end of a dangerous cross in the final stages of the game. He made slight contact with the ball and headed it easily towards Hamid, who again clung to the ball for the routine save.
Just a few seconds later, Eloi Amagat fired a low driven effort towards the United goal. The former Girona midfielder's shot ricocheted in front of the net. Hamid again used his reflexes and shifted his body position at the last second to bring cheer and joy to Black-and-Red fans all across the country.
Hamid was tested for the final time in the 90th minute of the match. Anton Tinnerholm collected the ball on the right wing and fired his shot low on frame. Hamid saw the shot through traffic and reacted well to rebound the ball away from the net. Hamid's eight saves that night tied his career high for saves made in a game, a feat he has accomplished seven times in his well-documented career.
The 25th is just around the corner and with all the new exciting news around the league, including new teams, new faces, and a new playoff format, we feel that Christmas has come early to the fans of the MLS.