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Hamid, Horvath shake off tough club seasons to battle for USMNT starting job


PHILADELPHIA– The starting goalkeeper spot for the U.S. Men’s National Team is up for grabs for the next three friendlies, and it could become a larger opening over the next 12 months.

Bill Hamid, Ethan Horvath, and Alex Bono are in the current camp preparing for Monday’s friendly against Bolivia.

Hamid, the former D.C. United man is the most experienced player of the trio, but that doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed to start.

“At the end of the day, we’re all a team so all of us are here with the common goal of winning three games, but we all want to be the No. 1,” Hamid told SBI. “I have the experience. I have the strength. I just need to make sure I’m sharp and I have to push the other two guys to make sure they’re sharp too because we are the USA men’s national team.”

“We’re not the decision makers. I come every day work my hardest, train my hardest, make sure I’m sharp, help the guys around me to get better and then hope for the best,” Hamid said. 

Horvath echoed that sentiment Friday, as the group continued to get ready for the game at Talen Energy Stadium on Memorial Day.

“There’s no scenarios or anything you need to think of. For me at least, I just come and it’s not our decision who plays, it’s the coaching staff’s decision and I just come and train and do the best that I can in every training session,” Horvath said. “And hopefully it leads to something good, but you can’t calculate anything. We just show up and train the best we can.”

The pair of European-based goalkeepers came into camp late after the conclusion of their respective club seasons.

Hamid struggled to find minutes at Midtjylland, while Horvath faced an unexpected benching at Club Brugge.

“I don’t want to get too much into detail about it, but it was difficult going from being the starter to not even being a part of the squad for about six months,” Horvath said. “I think I can be happy at the end of it because I got to play the last three games and these last three games were the most important and to be able to help Club Brugge be champion was special.” 

With Tim Howard and Brad Guzan closer to their USMNT exit ahead of the next World Cup cycle, goalkeeper is becoming a need the next manager has to fill, which is something that hasn’t been a concern at a position where a natural successor always seemed to be available.

Hamid has been seen as the potential replacement for Howard and Guzan on the depth chart, but he’s only made five appearances, while Horvath has two to his name.

Each goalkeeper is using lessons gained from Howard, Guzan, and Nick Rimando in the generation before them to show well enough in camp to earn Monday’s start.

“I try to communicate and talk to these guys on the field during breaks as much as possible, give them information from my experience and that’s what I saw Tim and Nick do,” Hamid said. “They were great leaders in training sessions and gave great information. Some of those little pieces of information I’ve learned and I just try to pass it on to these young guys.” 

“Me and Bill have been in with the national team for years now and Alex has been in a couple times,” Horvath said. “With me and Bill being with Tim and Brad for a long time I think we can pick up things from both of them and pass down to this team and I think we have a great talent pool right now  and I think definitely some stuff we learned from them we can pass down to this group.” 

If you were to draw up a USMNT goalkeeper depth chart, Hamid, Horvath and Zack Steffen of the Columbus Crew would be near the top.

For Hamid and Horvath, they’re looking to benefit from the energy in camp created by the group of young players, who will combine with them to take the USMNT into the next phase.

“I see hunger. I see passion and charisma. A lot of guys with some interesting character,” Hamid said. “You can feel a youthful energy and buzz, which is refreshing I’m sure for the program, and I think it’s going to pay dividends for these guys to get this type of experience and for a lot of these kids that are in Europe right now they started in Europe. For them, it’s going to pay dividends and for the program it’s going to be great for the future.” 


  1. Let’s add Jesse Gonzalez into the WC 2022 mix. Aside from his great outing yesterday, bot Bruce Arena and JK apparently rated him high enough to recruit his MNT allegiance. And, perhaps, El Tri (doh!) dropped the ball on this dual-nat AMERICAN. <–yes, purposeful large cap faux pas : )


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