Goalkeepers are either great or they are the goats. If a team wins, goalkeepers are often praised for making one or two fantastic stops. However, if the team loses, any goals scored are often dissected to death with most of the criticism levied against the goalkeeper. It is a position that is often only given to veteran players who eight, nine, ten years experience.
For the past four years, D.C. United have gone against this traditional view willing to take their lumps with young goalkeeper Bill Hamid behind the pipes. Although Hamid and United have taken their lumps, both look to be on the upswing as the club has employed to his talents to great success and to the top of the Eastern Conference standings. After a disastrous 2013 campaign which saw the team give a league-record fifty-nine goals, Hamid and the United defense have turned things around allowing only nineteen goals thus far in the 2014 campaign, fourth lowest in MLS.
While not all of Hamid's early seasons were that bad (he was a major contributor to the club's 2012 playoff run) he has been learning while on the job. At just 19-years-old, Hamid became the youngest MLS goalkeeper ever to win a match when he helped D.C. United defeat Sporting Kansas City 2-1. Over the next four years, Hamid would show flashes of brilliance mixed with instances of youthful frustration (the penalty against the New York Red Bulls in the 2012 MLS Playoffs immediately springs to mind).