Atlanta United’s Guzan responds to Hamid’s comments

Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Gazan blocks a shot on goal against the New York Red Bulls during a 3-0 victory in their Eastern Conference finals MLS soccer game on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Atlanta.   Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

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Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Gazan blocks a shot on goal against the New York Red Bulls during a 3-0 victory in their Eastern Conference finals MLS soccer game on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Though the timing of his rebuke probably wasn't ideal after a 2-0 loss to D.C. United, Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan said he was disappointed in counterpart Bill Hamid, who said during a preseason tour that he is a better goalkeeper.

Though Hamid made the statement in January, the quotes were posted on mlssoccer.com on Sunday ahead of the season-opening game between Guzan and Atlanta United and Hamid and D.C. United at Audi Field.

“I’m better than Brad Guzan,” Hamid said. “He’s a cool guy. I don't know him very well ... but it should be good beating him again.”

Guzan’s response after the game: “When you hear things like that, being a goalkeeper in this league or across the world, there’s something about being in the goalkeepers union, having respect for your colleagues, having respect for the position, carrying yourself in a professional way,” Guzan said.

“Some of us maybe lack in some of those areas.”

Hamid’s quotes were interesting because his resume is considerably thinner than Guzan’s.

Hamid has six appearances with the U.S men’s national team. Guzan has 60 and an MLS Cup title.

After successful seasons with D.C. United from 2009-17, Hamid’s career stalled after a move to Denmark in 2018, which led to his return to D.C. United last summer.

Guzan made 170 appearances in the Premier League and Championship in England before he returned to MLS with Atlanta United.

Both goalkeepers could be competing for a spot on the U.S. men’s national team under new manager Gregg Berhalter, which adds another wrinkle to the comments.

“It’s disappointing when you see fellow colleagues who are possibly going to be on the same team at some point,” Guzan said. “But that’s for him. You’d have to ask him more about those comments.”

Hamid left the locker room following Guzan’s response and could not be reached for comment.

Hamid was named the Man of the Match following Sunday’s game. He made two saves.

Guzan made four saves. He said he accepts responsibility for D.C. United’s second goal, a low, swerving shot by Luciano Acosta that he said almost handcuffed him. As Guzan began moving to his right, the shot knuckled to his left, skipping past him.

“I take that one,” Guzan said. “I won’t let it define me. It’s a long season. Hopefully, I’ve got more saves than mistakes in the bag. He hit it pure. Nine times out of 10 I would expect to save that.”