Hamid’s Return Has D.C. Hot

 
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The people have spoken. More than 40 percent of you asked for a soccer or MLS feature. We got an Underdog you can root for tonight if you’re watching the knockout rounds of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Bilal “Bill” Abdul Hamid will be in goal tonight for D.C. United, the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. And this guy’s been on quite the journey…

Hamid was born in Annandale, Virginia, just 10 miles west of the nation’s capital. He was a freak athlete as a youngster with the body of a rangy net protector, and he grew up in the D.C. United youth academy.

In 2009, D.C. United joined the MLS and created its first team. The first signing? An 18-year-old goalkeeper from their youth academy

A few months later, Hamid became the youngest goalkeeper ever (19 years, 161 days) to win an MLS game -- just four days younger than goalkeeper Tim Howard when he got his first win. Hamid still holds that record today.

"Bill" was in net for 184 D.C. United games from 2009-2017, but 10 months ago he went overseas to Denmark to test the waters in European competition. His club FC Midtjylland won the Danish Superliga in his first season, but Hamid rode the bench and missed something he had been part of his entire life – D.C. United.

In July, he returned to the states and rejoined his former club. He won back his starting job in August and put a lid on the goal for the rest of the season, boasting the league’s most effective goals-against average (0.92) and save percentage (80.3).

Hamid has also pitched five shutouts in 14 games and his team hasn’t lost since August – seven wins and three draws in their last 10 games.

Tonight, Hamid will lead his beloved D.C. United against Columbus in the nation’s capital. Sometimes, there’s no place like home.

 
Justin Tangnovember2018