Every Monday, Page 2 of the Sports print section features a soccer centerpiece and several notebook items geared toward a broader audience than the blog does. Some material has appeared on the Insider previously. This week’s contents:
D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid was among 13 MLS players named to the U.S. national team for Wednesday’s friendly against Mexico in San Antonio.
Sunday’s roster announcement came one day after Hamid failed to handle a free kick in the 90th minute against the New York Red Bulls, a rare misplay that led to the tying goal at RFK Stadium.
Otherwise, MLS’s 2014 goalkeeper of the year has enjoyed a sensational spring for the Eastern Conference leaders. And with Jurgen Klinsmann unable to select his top candidate, England-based Brad Guzan, Hamid was certain to receive an invitation.
Hamid, 24, will vie against Nick Rimando and Will Yarbrough for the starting job at the Alamodome. Game-time is 8:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1, UniMas and Univision Deportes.
“I see this kind of a game as a huge opportunity for players to come in and play in front of a sold-out stadium and loud crowd, a lot maybe pro-Mexico,” Klinsmann said. “These are the games where you mature and where you try to express yourself and show what you have, and therefore we are thankful that we can play this game.”
Regardless of personnel and circumstances, a matchup between the bitter adversaries stirs deep-seated emotions among players and fans. In the past dozen years, it has become one of the world’s great rivalries. This meeting, though, is as inconsequential as they come.
Neither side is at full strength. With the match falling outside an official FIFA match period, clubs have the right to deny international duty. So the respective coaches narrowed their player pool, for the most part, to the domestic leagues, which, in the spirit of the rivalry, typically grant call-up requests.
In addition to the MLS delegation, Klinsmann received permission to summon five players from the Mexican league, two from European clubs, one from the second-tier North American Soccer League and one from the college ranks.
Goalkeepers: Hamid (D.C. United), Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Yarbrough (Leon, Mexico).
Defenders: Ventura Alvarado (Club America, Mexico), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Greg Garza (Tijuana, Mexico), Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Puebla, Mexico), Brek Shea (Orlando City), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur, England).
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Tijuana, Mexico), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United, NASL), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution).
Forwards: Juan Agudelo (New England), Julian Green (Hamburg, Germany), Jordan Morris (Stanford University), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (L.A. Galaxy).