Alex Bono - Bill Hamid - Split Screen

PHILADELPHIA — When asked what his first few months in Denmark were like, Bill Hamid didn’t hesitate with a response.


“It’s cold over there, man,” the former D.C. United goalkeeper told reporters from US national team camp Friday. “I need more leg warmers and all that stuff. Send me some long johns when you get a chance.”


Hamid’s care package may come in the form of a start when the United States faces Bolivia at a warmer Talen Energy Stadium on Memorial Day (6:30 pm ET | FS1, UniMás, UDN), or perhaps in the USMNT’s next two games in Europe vs. Ireland and France.


And with the goalkeeping pool fairly wide open right now, the 27-year-old Hamid knows that getting hot at the right time could solidify his place on the team moving forward. 


“We all want to be the No. 1,” Hamid said. “I have the experience. I have the strength. I just need to make sure I’m sharp and I have to push the other two guys to make sure they’re sharp too because we’re the USA men’s national team. We’re not the decision makers. I come every day, train my hardest, make sure I’m sharp, help the guys around me get better, and then hope for the best.”


Joining Hamid at camp in Philadelphia this week are Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono and Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge). While Horvath and Hamid have both made five appearances for the US, Bono is still looking for his first cap. The TFC 'keeper did get called in to a camp in March but wasn’t selected to appear in a friendly vs. Paraguay, which he noted only “lights the fire” even more for him.


Now, Bono hopes his United States debut could come Monday, especially since he said it “hurts” that he had to miss Toronto’s game vs. FC Dallas on Friday.


“If it comes to the point where I’m fortunate enough to put on a jersey Monday, that’s fantastic,” Bono said. “If not, I’ll go back to Toronto and keep working and keep striving to get there. I don’t really worry about the depth chart and who’s No. 1.”


Although he hasn’t played in a game for the US yet, Bono has felt like an experienced veteran at times this week. That's partly because, at 24, he’s one of the older guys at camp and also because he leaned on advice from longtime USMNT stars and TFC teammates Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore before he got there. He’s also fresh off a run through the Concacaf Champions League that would probably challenge any international environment.


“Obviously it was a great experience playing in a hostile environment against the best teams in North America traditionally,” Bono said. “That’s experience as a goalkeeper you have to take with you when you come here.”


Hamid has also dealt with a new environment playing for Danish side FC Midtjylland since the start of 2018 after nine years in D.C. And even though he's struggled to earn playing time, he said he learned a lot about a “different structure of play” that involves building the attack more through the goalkeeper. 


And he enjoyed the fact the he got to arrive in Philly fresh off a Danish Superliga championship.


“I think that’s special to be a part of something so unique,” Hamid said. “It’s a very interesting league, different style of play. I think it’s been a task to adapt to, which is like every new environment you go to. I like it a lot. I think it’s a good environment, a great club with a good philosophy of how to play football and what they want to do. It’s going well.”