The Washington Post

D.C. United’s Bill Hamid discusses U.S. Olympic qualifying

D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid on Thursday explained what unfolded in the confusing moments Monday when he injured his left ankle in the first half and departed the U.S. under-23 national team’s 3-3 draw with El Salvador.

Hamid hurt himself coming out to cover a cross. He was examined by medical personnel and remained in the match. Soon thereafter, El Salvador scored twice in rapid succession for a 2-1 lead. Following the second goal, Sean Johnson replaced Hamid. Eight minutes passed between the time of the injury and the substitution.

“I didn’t feel too good,” Hamid said Thursday at RFK Stadium, where he has begun rehabbing a sprained ankle and bone bruises that will sideline him for one to three weeks. “I tried to test it by jumping, moving side to side, doing some high knee [exercises] right there on the field. Once I did it, there was no doubt in my mind I would do nothing more but hurt the team by staying on.

“They were getting Sean ready. I don’t know if you saw [on TV], but Sean was actually getting ready. He was on the line [sideline] before the second goal. The sub was ready to be made.”

Hamid said the ankle injury didn’t have an impact on the two goals. “No. They were good goals.”

Why wasn’t he replaced after the first goal?

“The two goals were like three minutes within each other. They didn’t wait. [Johnson] was asked to come off the bench and warm up and get ready to come in.”

Hamid adamantly defended Coach Caleb Porter’s handling of the situation.

“At the end of the day, the medical staff and Caleb did everything that they could to make the sub as quick as possible. They did the right thing. They asked me if I was okay. I said, ‘No.’ And they got Sean ready and got him on the line.”

Essentially, Hamid said, the injury occurred, the process began to replace him, the goals were scored, and the change was made.

“They don’t want to waste a sub in the first half, there’s a lot going on, we’re trying to qualify for the Olympics.”

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.


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