Nov 2, 2011

Training or Trial for Hamid

DC United net minder Bill Hamid is in England this week to train with West Bromwich Albion under the overall eye of Roy Hodgson and the close eye of veteran keeper Dean Kiely at the Premier League side.

DC United said that Hamid's trip to England was simply a training stint, to keep his skills sharp and build on them.

But West Brom's assistant coach Michael Appleton suggested to the club's news arm that West Brom is hosting Hamid "for a week so we can have a look at him."

West Brom's number one keeper is Ben Foster, who is on loan from Birmingham and their second keeper is little known Luke Daniels. Could Hamid make a break into the West Brom squad? Perhaps, but that is assuming that Hamid can get a work permit, itself something of a question despite Hamid's recent call-ups by the National Team.

But the larger question is whether is Hamid should make the transfer. In an attempt to put aside my DC United fan hat here, I would say no--not yet.

DC United is in a tricky position. As a homegrown player, Hamid doesn't count against the salary cap just yet and of course, United stands to make a pretty penny on Hamid's transfer assuming it is north of a couple of million dollars ($5 million not be unreasonable, but I would guess closer to $3 million for a transfer fee). So DC's financial status is something of a question.

Hamid has had one full year between the pipes for the Black and Red. It was a good year, but not a great year for Hamid. To be sure, the young man is a fine shot stopper and is getting better at organizing his back line. But another season under Pat Onstad's tutelage will do Hamid wonders. Hamid is also a practical lock for a call up to the U.S. Olympic team and would seem to have the inside track to be the starter for qualifying and assuming the U.S. makes the Olympic tournament, he will be on display for all of England to see.

A year longer for Hamid and perhaps some time between the pipes for the National Team during World Cup qualifying would be good for the young man. As a keeper, Hamid has perhaps 20 years or more left in his playing career. Let's not rush it.

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