DC goalkeeper Hamid doubtful for tough Sporting KC test

Bill Hamid

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WASHINGTON — D.C. United head into Sunday’s tough matchup against Sporting Kansas City uncertain about who their starting goalkeeper might be.

Regular starter Bill Hamid was subbed out halftime of Thursday’s 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire after going down clutching his right hamstring following a goal kick.

According to a club spokesman, the initial prognosis on Hamid was a grade-one hamstring strain. He’s listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game, though understudy Joe Willis — who didn’t travel to Chicago because of back spasms — has improved and will fly out to join the club in Kansas City.

Should Hamid miss the game, Willis — a rookie who performed well in goal against Vancouver in last week’s 4-0 win — would be in contention to start along with Steve Cronin, who played the second half of Thursday’s draw.

“We definitely have some depth in [goal] and Steve and Joe are both capable of good performances,” midfielder Clyde Simms told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday night.

Regardless of who’s in goal, DC will have their hands full against Sporting KC, a team they trail in the standings by just two points and who currently sit in third place in the Eastern Conference.

“Right now they’re probably the hottest team in MLS,” DC forward Josh Wolff told MLSsoccer.com. “Certainly on an upswing. [They] have a good way about them.”

After a rough start to the season, Sporting KC are unbeaten in 15 of their last 16 league games and are in the midst of a nine-game home stand, winning their latest game at Livestrong Park by a 3-1 score over the Portland Timbers on Wednesday.

DC must be able to cope with a high-energy offense that features the likes of Kei Kamara, Omar Bravo and rookie C.J. Sapong bring to the game.

“We’ve got to match their intensity and fight,” Wolff said. ”That’s something they take a lot of pride in at home. It’ll be a test for us — hopefully we’ll recover [from Thursday] and get after them on Sunday.”

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