Recovering From Injury is Never Easy – Bill Hamid on Moving Forward and Guarding the Goal
Never one to feel sorry for himself or give in to pain, Bill Hamid is a force to be reckoned with in front of the goal. As the D.C. United and the U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Hamid has impressed critics and fans throughout his career earning Goalkeeper of the Year honors during the 2014 season — as well as breaking Tim Howard’s record for youngest goalkeeper to win a game in the MLS. Then injury struck – days before being called in to National camp. Describing himself as explosive, aggressive, instinctual, strong, brave and hard working Hamid never doubted he would return to top form. A confident player, Hamid loves playing for D.C. United. Here is Hamid’s story.
Soccer News: As Bill Hamid recovers from a torn meniscus, the D.C. United and U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper is doing everything he can to remain injury free. Impressed with what G-Form offers for protection, Hamid recently became a brand ambassador for the company.
Who is Bill Hamid? Hamid is the youngest goalkeeper in MLS history — at just 19 years old — to win a regular MLS season match. Before Hamid’s victory, Tim Howard held the record as the youngest goalie to win a MLS game. Virginia born, 6’3″ tall and weighing in at 225 pounds, Hamid (@BILLHAMID28) earned MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Award in 2014. His career as a professional soccer player was on track and the strikingly tall and powerful force in front of the net was in full command, recording clean-sheets and multiple saves. Then, in January 2016, Hamid reported to the U.S. National Team despite an injury to his knee that occurred in a previous training session. His worst fears were realized when doctors discovered a tear in his meniscus. Hamid was out six months and missed the first twelve games of the 2016 MLS season. According to the Washington Post, “D.C. United goalie Bill Hamid is looking ‘unbelievable’ in comeback.” The 25-year-old has been a consistent presence for United, starting 145 matches in seven years — and is back on the edges of the U.S. team, with just two career appearances.
SoccerToday chats with Hamid about his road to recovery and why he became the brand’s official soccer ambassador for G-FORM.
Diane Scavuzzo: When you reported in to the U.S. National team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann back in Jan 2016, did you suspect a serious problem with your knee? Were you just hoping the pain would pass?
Bill Hamid: Yes, I already knew I had a problem with my knee. It happened 2 days before camp while I was training. But I did not know how serious the injury was.
Diane Scavuzzo: What was your first reaction when the doctors told you that you had a tear in your Meniscus?
Bill Hamid: My first reaction was a sense of disappointment, but I quickly switched the mindset of doing whatever it took to fix the issue and get on the path to recovery.
Diane Scavuzzo: What was the worst part of being out for six months?
Bill Hamid: I wouldn’t say there is a bad part about being out for 6 months because you try to keep a positive mindset and it’s really a test of your fortitude.
It was a time for reflection and emotional, physical, and spiritual rejuvenation. Obviously you want to play, but in these instances you have to take things one step at a time.
Diane Scavuzzo: After missing the first twelve games of the 2016 MLS season, how sure we’re you that you would return?
Bill Hamid: I was never in any doubt that I wouldn’t return.
Diane Scavuzzo: When did you first start playing goalie?
Bill Hamid: I began playing goalie at 5 years old.
Diane Scavuzzo: Where did you play as a kid? What team?
Bill Hamid: I played as a kid in the Northern Virginia Area and my first club was Annandale Boys & Girls Club of Annandale Virginia.
Diane Scavuzzo: How did it feel to be the youngest successful goalie in MLS?
Bill Hamid: It’s a blessing to be able to do what I love and inspire people along the way — and to be recognized for it.
Diane Scavuzzo: What makes a goalie successful? How important is talking to your teammates?
Bill Hamid: What makes a goalkeeper successful is the mental strength and work ethic they have.
It’s very important to communicate and converse with your teammates and establish relationships on and off the field to see what they want and need from the eyes in the back.
Diane Scavuzzo: How do you deal with the pressure of being the last person preventing the opposition from making a goal?
Bill Hamid: I deal with the pressure very well.
Diane Scavuzzo: How would you describe yourself as a goalie?
Bill Hamid: Explosive, aggressive, instinctual, strong, brave and hard working.
Diane Scavuzzo: How important is injury prevention now? Did you think about it really before?
Bill Hamid: Yes, I’ve always had good sense of injury prevention. As I get older I tend to take it more seriously.
Diane Scavuzzo: What would you say to other pro players and even today’s aspiring pros about doing everything you can to minimize the risks?
Bill Hamid: As a professional player, I encourage any methods of injury prevention because your body is what you have in the sport.
Your body has to be well functioning and ready for battle to maximize your potential.
Diane Scavuzzo: Who was your favorite goalie growing up? Who was your mentor/favorite coach?
Bill Hamid: Legendary Brazilian Goalkeeper Cláudio Taffarel and Tim Howard were my favorite goalkeepers growing up. My favorite coach was Pat Onstad for how strict he was to me in training with all the small details and Preston Burpo because with him I won 2014 Goalkeeper of the year.
Diane Scavuzzo: As a pro, what do you like best about G-Form?
Bill Hamid: I like how innovative G-Form gear is. It’s very specific and targets areas on the body that are common for certain sports to receive injuries. It’s lightweight, easy to wear and helps cover up some of my problem areas.
Diane Scavuzzo: What advice do you have for young goalkeepers who want to follow in your footsteps?
Bill Hamid: Believe.
Hamid now wears G-Form’s Pro-X shirt, Pro-X shorts and Pro-S Elite shin guards. The products’ superior impact absorption, form fit design, lightweight construction and incredibly low pad profile make them ideal for goalkeepers.