DC Notebook: Hamid suddenly surging for United
Saturday night’s scoreless draw was a milestone for D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
The 20-year-old Home Grown product earned his second straight shutout with the result against FC Dallas, and was active throughout the evening in Frisco, Texas. He was quick off his line, made smart saves when tested and continued to improve in the DC goal.
“I’m very impressed with Bill,” midfielder Clyde Simms told MLSsoccer.com. “He’s always been a great shot-stopper. Day in and day out, even in games, I think he’s adding different dimensions to his game.”
A starter for all but the first four games this year — he sat out while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery — Hamid’s progress is noticeable and his hard work was rewarded with his fifth shutout this season.
“He’s definitely getting the experience, and he’s learning,” Simms said.
Another trade with New York
Prior to Saturday’s meeting with FC Dallas, DC announced another trade with Eastern Conference rival, sending an international roster spot to the Red Bulls in exchange for future considerations.
Monday morning, the club announced that midfielder Austin da Luz would be joining DC to complete the deal.
"We are excited to be adding a quality left-sided midfielder to our team," D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper said in a press release. "Austin is a very smart, technical player who is just coming into his own as a professional, and we are excited about his future."
Da Luz gives DC much-needed depth in midfield, with backup wide players Santino Quaranta and Brandon Barklage battling concussion problems. He’s notched a goal and an assist in seven games this season for New York.
Olsen praises point in Dallas
It certainly wasn’t the prettiest game, but coming away from Dallas with a point was a good result as far as head coach Ben Olsen was concerned.
“This is one of the toughest places to play in summer,” he told reporters after Saturday’s draw. “You look at Dallas when you get the schedule and you're hoping you get them early or late.”
Olsen recognized that FC Dallas enjoyed the stronger run of play, but he was pleased with his rapidly improving defense keeping the opposing attack of the board.
“They certainly had better chances and they were probably more aggressive in the offensive part, but give the guys credit: It's not easy to come out here and shut down a very athletic and fast team,” he said. “Overall, it was very good point for us.”
One more home game for Fred
Although the FC Dallas match was supposed to serve as the swan song for Brazilian attacker Fred, he will get another chance to bid farewell to the RFK Stadium faithful. D.C. United have requested his services for one more game from his soon-to-be new club, Melbourne Heart.
With injury problems piling up, Fred will stick around for Wednesday’s game against the New England Revolution, giving the team’s bench a much-needed boost. Fred will then depart to join his new club, whose season doesn’t start until early October.
Travis Clark covers D.C. United, College and Youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter: @travismclark.