The goalkeeper says he is not Tim Howard's backup on the national team until Jurgen Klinsmann makes the official announcement prior to the World Cup Qualifiers.Bill Hamid appears to be the frontrunner to back up veteran U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard when World Cup qualifying begins in June, but the 21-year-old says “nothing is guaranteed.”
“You can’t say I’m the backup until World Cup qualifying time or World Cup time,” Hamid said last month prior to a friendly in Panama. “I’m happy where I’m at, but it’s not finished. The hard work has to continue no matter where you stand.”
It would be quite a surprise if Hamid isn’t on the roster next spring as the No. 2 keeper. He has been called up by coach Jurgen Klinsmann in each of the last six camps, beating out veterans Nick Rimando and Brad Guzan for roster spots.
Hamid earned his first cap against Venezuela last month with the United States’ ‘B’ team while Howard remained in England with his club team Everton. Hamid recorded a clean sheet in his debut, earning praise from several of his senior squad teammates who contacted him after the 1-0 victory.
“All those guys are really positive and they like to keep the young guys focused and keep them in the right mindset so they can succeed and get to where they’re at one day,” Hamid said.
Hamid began his professional career at just 19 after spending time at D.C. United’s youth academy. He quickly became a starter for the MLS squad and has since worked his way to a promising future with the U.S. national team.
But it will be some time until Hamid can claim the starting job for the Stars and Stripes. Howard, 32, has been the man between the pipes for the past four years with many more to come. In the meantime, though, Hamid is happy to learn from the former Manchester United keeper.
“I’m very close with him [Howard] and the advice that he gives me is something you can take for the rest of your career because he’s played at the highest level,” Hamid said. “With a guy like that, he likes to give advice day in and day out to all the goalkeepers and thankfully he’s called me every once in a while to make sure I’m good.”
“I’m around some of the best in the league. In all of these national team camps I’ve been around guys who play in Europe, so for me being a young guy, going back to D.C.,” Hamid said. “I’m going to take this knowledge that I’ve gotten and try to make the best of it.”