Alex Bono, Tyler Miller, Luis Zamudio compete for D.C. United keeper job


INDIO, Calif. – For the best part of 12 years, DC United opened training camp with Bill Hamid on the depth chart and other goalkeepers who tend to work as backups. Hamid will miss time due to injuries and international call-ups, but for the most part there has been a clear command.

This year the camp started without Hamid but without any of the four goalkeepers who saw action in 2022. distribution.

“You don’t come to try to overthrow someone who has had the job for many years, who is a fan, who is really popular among men,” Alex Bono said. “The three of us came in with a clean slate.”

Hamid and United parted ways after an injury-shortened 2022 season, ending the second-longest stint by a DC player (behind Jaime Moreno’s) and 290-game, 80-game shutout streak. qualifiers. The 32-year-old remains a free agent.

Mohanad Jeahze, a Swedish Iraqi who just found America, came to DC United

Bono, 28, arrives after eight seasons in Toronto, where he started 48 games over the past two years. Tyler Miller, 29, signed after making 30 starts for Minnesota in 2021 and losing the starting job last year. Luis Zamudio, 24, was Loudoun United’s first-choice goalkeeper last year while training regularly with the DC team.

When the camp opened, coach Wayne Rooney and goalkeeping coach Diego Restrepo made it clear that the No. 1 position was up for grabs. Miller and Bono each started one preseason game. Zamudio was the second half of the game, then started the game in 45 minutes.

Also Read :  Phillies advance to World Series, beat Padres in NLCS Game 5

“For them, it’s almost minutes, whether it’s the next game or after the game, they’ll know who’s going to be the goalkeeper,” Rooney said. “I have one in mind, but I’ll talk to the guys and me [Restrepo] and make a decision from there.”

Having started the preseason opener last week, Miller appears to have the edge. But Bono’s experience and Zamudio’s power kept the competition wide open.

“Wayne told us everybody can play,” Zamudio said. “I don’t care how old we are. He’s going to play whoever he thinks is the best.”

Miller’s signing brought him full circle. The summer after his first year at Northwestern, he was invited to unofficially train with United at RFK Stadium. His professional career took him from the reserve role in Seattle to, through the expansion draft, starting work at Los Angeles FC in 2018 and 2019. He was sold to Minnesota in 2020 and started 2021 before supporting Dwayne St. Clair last year.

With Miller not playing, United inquired about a trade last summer to provide depth as Hamid recovered from hand surgery and, in his place, neither Rafael Romo nor Jon Kempin stood out. Instead, DC signed Real Salt Lake’s David Ochoa, a highly regarded prospect in the final year of his contract.

Also Read :  Katie Meyer lawsuit: Family of soccer star Katie Meyer files wrongful death lawsuit against Stanford University after she died by suicide

Offseason negotiations with Ochoa failed, and on the first day of free agency, Miller said he received calls from CEO Jason Levien, Rooney and two other members of the coaching staff encouraging him to join. United.

“I’ve never had that kind of treatment,” said Miller, who signed a two-year contract. “It’s a simple thing, but it goes a long way.”

Bono’s time in Toronto — which included 135 games in the regular season and the playoffs — was marred by an injury late last season while playing a role.

“The feeling on both sides was to go forward,” Bono said, adding “there was no animosity.”

He said he got other nibbles in free agency but “I felt lucky DC wanted to take me.”

Zamudio’s career began at Mexico Club América’s youth academy. In 2019, he made the first-team matchday list in three La Liga MX matches. His parents are from Mexico, but he was born in Los Angeles and raised in Las Vegas.

He played for the second and third division teams in the United States before reaching the top level at Loudoun last year. Thanks to DC’s regular training sessions, “I knew I was on their radar,” he said. “I knew if I played well, it was possible to be considered for the first team.”

As soon as the season ended, he was offered an MLS contract.

Also Read :  AHEAD OF THE GAME: Jose Mourinho wants to return to Chelsea

The preseason competition required the candidates not only to save and set up the defense but to actively initiate the attack by playing high up the pitch, taking chances and using their legs for quick distribution.

Megan Rapinoe returns to the USWNT ahead of the SheBelieves Cup

“I’m an aggressive goalie,” Miller said. “I like to play high, and for Wayne, it’s a step forward. It took a while, but I really feel like I’ve got it right. He’s very good: if you make a mistake, that’s fine. It’s about reading the game and not playing with fear.”

“He wants us to be brave,” Zamudio added.

The aim for all three is to be part of the line-up at the end of this month at the Audi stadium. For Bono, that means facing his old team.

“That’s some encouragement,” he said, smiling. “It’s a little premature to dismiss that because I feel like there’s unfinished business. You’d like to play against your old team and try to stick with them.”

Note: Poland’s Mateusz Klich received his work visa and arrived at the camp late on Tuesday. He is set to make his debut on Monday against Los Angeles FC. …

Christian Benteke and Chris Durkin scored in a 3-2 loss to Charlotte FC on Wednesday. Then, after 45 minutes of playing with subs in the first game, United drew 1-1 with Vancouver. Rookie Aidan Rocha (Georgetown) scored.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button