No cap, but DC 'keeper Hamid treasures US experience

Bill Hamid

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WASHINGTON — Even though Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw between the US and Mexico didn’t yield Bill Hamid’s first national-team cap, seeing it all from the bench was a special moment for the D.C. United goalkeeper.

“To be there and represent your country was an experience that I’m going to treasure — especially [given] the opponent,” Hamid told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. “For Jurgen [Klinsmann] to have the trust in me is something I want to build on moving forward.”

The 20-year-old was called up last week, and though he didn’t head to Philadelphia for camp on a high note — he was sent off in the seventh minute of last weekend’s 3-3 draw against Toronto FC — the three days leading up to the game were certainly eye-opening.

“It was a very good experience,” Hamid said. “I’m glad I had the opportunity to step in there.”

Naturally, one of the biggest benefits was training alongside Tim Howard, a goalkeeper he respects and admires. Hamid said he tried to learn as much as he could from the Everton No. 1, observing how to organize a defense, take care of himself off the field and behave in training sessions.

“He’s a guy I can definitely model myself after — lifestyle and on the field,” Hamid said. “He’s a great guy … you can depend on him as a teammate.”

Hamid also appreciated the opportunity to train in front of a new US coach and, hopefully, make a good first impression.

“For me to be under the wing of a legend of world soccer in Jurgen Klinsmann, and for him to see me and say you’re doing well and say, 'I have faith in you,' was something that really hit me hard,” he said.

Travis Clark covers D.C. United, college and youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter: @travismclark.