D.C. United is exploring the possibility of reacquiring Bill Hamid, the homegrown goalkeeper who left the MLS organization last winter to pursue opportunities in Europe.
United officials Friday said they did not want to comment, and Hamid did not respond to multiple messages.
Unable to secure regular playing time, Hamid has begun seeking brighter pastures, two sources said. Since February, he has started one league match and served as the backup 19 times. Hamid, 27, did start two Danish Cup matches in April but was on the bench for two recent UEFA Champions League qualifiers. Jesper Hansen, a 33-year-old Dane, is the regular starter for the reigning domestic champions.
When Hamid left, United retained his MLS rights because the club had offered him a new contract — one that would have earned him double what he accepted to play in Denmark. His heart was set, however, on expanding his horizons, attempting to work his way up the European ladder and eventually landing in one of the continent’s elite leagues.
Since Hamid is under contract through the 2021-22 season, Midtjylland could demand a transfer fee from a suitor. It’s unclear how much United would be willing to pay, or whether it is prepared to spend anything at all to add a goalkeeper to a roster that already employs two experienced options.
United — and perhaps Hamid — would try to persuade Midtjylland to dump his long-term contract and allow him to leave on a free transfer.
Hamid’s lack of playing time on the club level has taken a toll on his U.S. national team status. Ranked as high as third on the depth chart in recent years, he looked rusty and out of form during a 2-1 friendly defeat at Ireland in May. He also has fallen behind Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew) in a multiplayer race to succeed Tim Howard as the first-choice keeper entering as many as six major friendlies this fall and the start of the 2022 World Cup cycle.
Hamid, an Annandale native who attended DeMatha High, is United’s career leader in most goalkeeping categories. After signing at age 18, he won the starting job within two years, made 200 appearances across all competitions and earned the MLS goalkeeper of the year award in 2014.
A return would shake up United’s goalkeeping corps.
Late last summer, when it became increasingly likely Hamid would leave, United acquired U.S. goalkeeper Steve Clark from Danish club Horsens. Wanting to foster competition, the club then traded with Vancouver in the offseason for another experienced keeper, Denmark’s David Ousted. The latter has started 15 of 18 league matches and performed well at times behind a back line hampered by injuries and weak spots.
Ousted, 33, and Clark, 32, split two U.S. Open Cup assignments. The third-choice keeper, Travis Worra, has spent much of the season with the second-division Richmond Kickers.
If Hamid returned, United would have to move Ousted or Clark, who fill the two goalkeeping slots on the senior roster.