National team goalkeeper Bill Hamid earned his first minutes for FC Midtjylland in a 2-1 victory over Hobro IK in the quarterfinals of the DBU Pokalen (the Danish Cup).
Midtylland took the lead in the 99th minute via a Bozhidar Kraev goal. Martin Mikkelsen brought things level in the 109th minute, before Kraev scored the match-winner in the 112th minute.
Vi taber 1-2 efter forlænget spilletid til FC Midtjylland i DBU Pokalens kvartfinale efter 0-0 i den ordinære spilletid. Martin Mikkelsen udlignede for Hobro IK, men Bozhidar Kraev blev dobbelt målscorer og matchvinder for gæsterne. #HOBFCM #DBUPokalen pic.twitter.com/QjOxObh0zY— Hobro IK (@hikfodbold) April 12, 2018
“I am fine and I feel ready,” Hamid told Herning Folkeblad prior to the match. “There is a high level here at the club so I’m completely ready to take the place in goal and play.”
Fellow American Emmanuel Sabbi started for Hobro. The 20-year old striker played 63 minutes before making way for Edgar Babayan.
Midtjylland plays Brondby in the semifinals (a draw was done immediately after the match), which will be played on April 25th or 26th.
Hamid officially joined The Wolves this past January on a free transfer after nine seasons with D.C. United in Major League Soccer. Hamid’s earned five caps with the national team and has been viewed by many as a possible number one for the future.
While being a seldom-used back-up at the club level is far from an ideal situation, starting a cup match is a step in the right direction. Whether Hamid will unseat Midtjylland starter Jesper Hansen in the future remains to be seen. The 33-year old Dane has made 38 appearances this season, with 11 shutouts across all competitions.
The Jutland-based club is currently neck and neck with Brondby atop the league table, tied at 66 points with eight matches remaining. First place earns a spot in Champions League qualifying; second place is a spot in Europa League. Given the circumstances, there won’t be a goalkeeper switch in the near future unless drastic change is deemed necessary.
Hamid’s club situation is an ever-present reminder that there is not an American goalkeeper who has set himself apart from the pack. William Yarbrough, Zack Steffen, Ethan Horvath, and Alex Bono could be penciled into the starting role, while Tim Howard and Brad Guzan continue to play the role of aging mainstays who have yet to be truly supplanted.
Unfortunately for USMNT fans, there won’t be any meaningful soccer until next year’s international competition(s). Hamid has plenty of time to seize the starting job in Denmark and stake his claim for a bigger role with the national team. The next step will be Midtjylland selecting him for the next cup match. Stars and Stripes FC will keep you posted.