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Klinsmann adds Woods to coaching staff, names Hamid backup goalkeeper


Photo by Thomas Eisenhuth/


HARRISON, N.J. — Jurgen Klinsmann's coaching staff is slowly starting to take form.

After Martin Vasquez became entrenched as Klinsmann's second-in-command, the U.S. national team manager announced the addition of Chris Woods as the goalkeeper coach.

Woods, who holds that same role for Everton and will continue to despite his new international obligations, will be with the national team through the 2014 World Cup, Klinsmann told reporters prior to Monday's training session at Red Bull Arena.

"That is a big step for us," Klinsmann said. "A player like Bill Hamid or other goalies here will tremendously benefit by the experience of Chris Woods."

While Hamid, Klinsmann's newly anointed No. 2 goalkeeper, will have Woods' attention, there's one U.S. player who has already benefitted greatly by Woods' tutelage.

Tim Howard has played under Woods, a former English international and one-time member of the Colorado Rapids, since joining Everton in in 2006.

"At a certain stage in your career you think you're at a certain level, but when you look back, you're not," Howard said. "When I went to Everton I knew a lot, and now I'm realizing how much I've learned under him. I was very raw, and I've certainly become a very complete goalkeeper now."

Woods first joined the national team for the September friendly against Belgium. He was asked to rejoin the team for Saturday's match against Honduras and Tuesday's encounter with Ecuador, and Klinsmann received the green light from Everton manager David Moyes to add him permanently going forward, although the Associated Press reports that his contract is not officially completed with U.S. Soccer.

"He's been fantastic for my career," Howard said. "He's one of the best in the world, and he has an amazing reputation."

Woods will be charged with maintaining Howard's status as a top-notch shot-stopper while also bringing the best out of who lingers in the U.S. goalkeeping pipeline. Players such as Hamid, Chicago's Sean Johnson and Philadelphia's Zac MacMath, for example, figure to be prominent players in the future as the United States seeks to groom its next generation of goalkeepers.

"It seems like behind Tim Howard there was not a lot happening the last couple of years, which makes it not that easy," Klinsmann said. "We hope that with Bill coming in and the experience and environment of having Tim Howard next to him is almost like a mentor. He fits in our picture of developing an Olympic team."

One player who remains on the outskirts of the national-team picture is longtime Howard backup Brad Guzan, whose club situation at Aston Villa hasn't afforded him the playing time necessary to remain on Klinsmann's radar.

"The backup right now is Bill Hamid," Klinsmann definitively said on Monday. "He has tremendous talent, but obviously he's very young and not ready to be the next goalie yet. We see a lot of up-side in his game, but we are very careful in his development. The most important thing is that he plays for D.C. United every game.

"He came into camp because Brad Guzan is not playing. I sent a message in my first get-together that 'The most important thing is that you guys play. If you are on the bench somewhere, it doesn't matter in Europe, in the MLS or in Mexico, you have a problem coming in here.'" 


  1. Hamid won’t play tonight because he travelled with DCU to Vancouver for tomorrow night’s game, but I agree he will be a great keeper some day and is already better this year than last.

  2. I guess Klinsi settles the old argument of how training with big names yet riding the pine week-in and week-out is Europe is better than starting in a lowly league such as MLS. Me likey.

    Plus, he is lighting a fire under the MLS guys by saying you’re not a guaranteed lock to start – if you like taking 3 months off and away from the game…no soup for you too!!

    Fighting for playing time on your club squad and fighting for a spot on the National team – as it is everywhere else and as it will be here too. Kepp up the good work JK.

    People don’t read the lyrics (like stressing out about Bill Hamid’s readiness) and fail to consider the actual music of the messgae (which is JK telling Guzan and anyone else who is ready to take the dump or get off the pot!!)

  3. that would have been awesome. i still have my kahn jersey that i got at some shop when i was in germany during the 2002 world cup.

  4. I see why he has so much hope in Hamid for the future, but if for right now, if howard went down and hamid had to go in, he would not be ready. Even said it himself… he is not ready. So why is he backup right now? A back up needs to be an experienced ready keeper to step in and not make any silly mistakes. Nick Rimando is the ideal guy to back up Howard right now. I dont feel safe with Hamid backing up Howard right now. Rimando is much more experienced, more intelligent, and just a better keeper atm all together. Hamid has shown some very bonehead mistakes in MLS since beginning. JK has brought Rimando in, but I dont see how he doesnt make him back up and let Hamid learn after the other two. Honestly, Rimando is just as good as Guzan atm. Guzan is just younger and has more upside.

  5. He likes Hamid because of his raw talent, which is off the charts. With hard work and proper coaching, Hamid could potentially become one of the best keepers in the world.

  6. “The most important thing is that he plays for D.C. United every game.”

    Say what you will about JK’s approach on other topics but it’s extremely hard to dispute how effective and fantastic that statement is for the development of our national team pool. Players that have national team ambition will hopefully re-think their jump abroad (just for the sake of making it sometimes) and observe players like Hamid/Beckerman, who despite being in MLS, is getting called up due to starts for his club & form.

    If you’re playing, you’re affording yourself the opportunity to improve. Riding the bench, even if you’re in Europe, doesnt appear as if it’ll be rewarded under this administration.

    Bravo, to that, I say.

  7. Uh, how many games have you seen Hamid play? On a team with a young and inconsistent back line (the youngest in MLS if I remember correctly) he has shown his quality and potential. Further he’s 20, is 6’3″ 230 lbs, is a dominating presence in the box, has rapidly improving distribution, and is a quality shot stopper. He has made some mistakes (the RC against Toronto, and the pointless pk against Houston) due to overconfidence and mis-communication, but they hardly take away from his clear upside.

  8. Both good moves.

    It only makes sense for Chris Woods to be the coach for both the US team and Everton, as both jobs revolve around Howard. For the backups he just has to switch between a young American in Hamid and an old one in Hahnemann.

    Also, of our four young keepers, Hamid, Johnson, MacMath, Cropper, I’m pretty sure two of them have trained with Everton in the past. I forget who else but I’m certain MacMath has.

  9. Getting him in now in friendlies wouldn’t be so bad, especially if we can insert him with something like a 2 goal lead. Just getting out there and the experience would be great but definitely don’t want to throw him to the sharks and kill his confidence.

  10. Why would you “cringe”. This is a great opportunity to get him some work. Its a friendly with no qualification implications…JK is trying to find the right pieces with the field players, why not give him some minutes in the net? I hope he gets at least 45 mins tonight.

  11. Why would you “cringe”. This is a great opportunity to get him some work. Its a friendly with no qualification implications…JK is trying to find the right pieces with the field players, why not give him so minutes in the net? I hope he gets at least 45 mins tonight.

  12. Wow. Can’t believe he has named Hamid the back-up. The kid is naturally gifted: bearing the talent to be our best goalie ever. However, he is so young and so raw, I would cringe at the sight of him on the field for the USMNT tonight.

  13. Guzan needs to GTFO of Aston Villa otherwise he will be surpassed by younger prospects who get regular playing time and thus keep on improving.

  14. fantastic, hope they call in six keepers this January. lotsa young un’s

    oh and maybe the yeti of american goalkeepers, Brad Guzan.


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