Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Bill Hamid’s long-awaited ascent toward the upper echelon of American goalkeepers reached overdrive in 2014, and now the D.C. United has made the transition from top prospect to one of the best goalkeepers in the U.S. system.
Three years after assuming the role of starting goalkeeper, Hamid came into his own as D.C. United ascended from the league’s basement to the top of the Eastern Conference as Hamid provided a dominating force in goal. His play helped D.C. United post the best defensive record in MLS in 2014, and helped Hamid be select as SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors.
The 24-year-old goalkeeper was among the league’s best in every goalkeeper statistic, but statistics don’t do justice to the type of jaw-dropping saves Hamid made on a regular basis.
Leading the league in save percentage, Hamid’s saves ranged from calm to electric, as the D.C. United goalkeeper limited errors while erasing those made by the backline.
Hamid was voted SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year by SBI Soccer staff, winning in a landslide as he beat out a strong list of contenders for the award, including two-time and reigning SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Nick Rimando and Columbus Crew netminder Steve Clark.
Here is a closer look at who rounded out the top five candidates for SBI MLS Goalkeeper of the Year:
By RYAN TOLMICH
With the team’s final friendly of 2014 in the books, Jurgen Klinsmann has turned his gaze toward a 2015 campaign that the U.S. Men’s National Team head coach insists will present a new set of challenges.
As the team heads into a busy 2015 season, Klinsmann is now looking forward to continuing the team’s learning process the began with the conclusion of this past summer’s World Cup. With new players, coaches and tournaments to look forward to, the U.S. head coach is looking forward to continuing to progress to start off the new World Cup cycle.
“2015 will be a year of developing talent on and off the field. The theme will be education. Education wherever we can,” Klinsmann said. “We want to educate more on the coaching side, we want to educate on the players side, we want to educate on the parents side about what it really takes to become a professional. What’s exciting for us is we’re building our own counseling office with Nelson Rodriguez leading it. This is a huge step. It’s something we copied a bit from the universities where we try to establish contact with the players and their parents early in order to help them understand what you need to know to become a pro. So there will be a lot of educational topics out there.
“We want to improve coaching education wherever we can because it’s crucial, and we want to challenge our players and not let them settle, not even for a second, for whatever they have achieved up to that point. We want to grow our program and one day compete with the best in the world, so it means a lot of hard work in 2015.” Continue reading
Photo by Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports
By DAN KARELL
Not for the first time in his career, Matthew Dunn was in limbo.
With Chivas USA ceasing operations and the team set to either be released from their contracts or dispersed around Major League Soccer through various acquisition methods, Dunn wasn’t sure what was next for him.
On Nov. 19, Dunn found out he’d be moving across the country, as New York City FC selected the 20-year-old midfielder with the second overall selection in the MLS Dispersal Draft. Dunn became the team’s seventh signing as head coach Jason Kreis and sporting director Claudio Reyna continue to scour the globe looking to fill their 28-man roster.
“At first I was just very excited because I didn’t know if I’d be going in the draft and then it kind of came to me that I did, and this was going to be my new home. I was thrilled,” Dunn told SBI. “I’ve spoken with (Kreis and Reyna). They’ve very busy right now so it was brief but they were really nice, welcomed me to the club, and were glad to have me.”
NYC FC’s newest player may not have garnered the accolades of Designated Player signings David Villa and Frank Lampard, but his career path has taken him from his hometown of Dallas, Texas to cities all across Europe.
Photo by Gary Rohman/ USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
After seeing the forward shatter the club’s single season goalscoring mark, Sporting KC are set to hold on to forward Dom Dwyer.
Sporting KC announced Wednesday that the club has picked up options on Dwyer, forward C.J. Sapong, defenders Seth Sinovic and Ike Opara, as well as goalkeeper Jon Kempin just one day after declining options on six players Tuesday.
Dwyer scored 22 goals for Sporting KC in 2014 to earn recognition as the team’s Offensive Player of the Year. Meanwhile, Sinovic, who started 31 regular season games, will remain after earning the title as the club’s Defensive Player of the Year.
The club also opted to hold onto Kempin after releasing goalkeepers Andy Gruenebaum and Eric Kronberg Wednesday. In addition, Kempin was recognized as MVP of the MLS Homegrown Game back in August.
What do you think of Sporting KC’s roster moves? What do you expect from Dwyer next season?
Share your thoughts below.
By DAN KARELL
Real Madrid are attempting to keep their perfect UEFA Champions League record alive on Wednesday when they visit FC Basel.
Paulo Sousa’s men have a strong recent history in the Champions League and need to secure a positive result, either a draw or an historic victory, to keep their hopes of advancing alive. Real Madrid on the other hand are already qualified for the knockout stages, and could give squad players such as Javier Hernandez and Asier Illarramendi a chance to start.
Injury-hit Arsenal meanwhile take on Group D leaders Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal are winless in their last three while Dortmund are unbeaten in their last three, though they’re missing star player Marco Reus through the new year.
Elsewhere in Champions League action, Juventus travel to Sweden to take on Malmo FF, Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid host Olympiacos, American Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht face Galatasaray, and struggling Liverpool visit Bulgaria to take on Ludogorets.
Here’s today’s Champions League schedule, complete with TV and internet listings:
By RYAN TOLMICH
Lionel Messi now stands alone as the Champions League’s all-time leading goalscorer.
For the second time in three days, Messi shattered a goalscoring record with a hat-trick, as the Barcelona forward scored a trio of goals to lead the way in a 4-0 victory over APOEL.
Kickstarted by Luis Suarez’s first goal for the club, Messi scored in the 38th, 58th and 87th minutes to seize the top spot among the tournament’s scoring list. The Argentine is now three goals ahead of previous record holder Raul, while Cristiano Ronaldo remains lurking just four goals behind.
Here’s a look at some other Champions League scores from Tuesday: Continue reading