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Walking Tall: Hume Embarks on MLS Path

03/15/2017, 9:15am EDT
By AARON CRANFORD - aaron.cranford@uslsoccer.com

Dallas-born PDL alum Walker Hume looks to make impression in FC Dallas defense

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Walker Hume and his twin brother Tucker Hume have been competing and succeeding together for years – whether it be at Rollins College in Division II of the NCAA, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or in the Premier Development League for the Austin Aztex, Midland/Odessa Sockers FC or the Portland Timbers U23. Yet, the pair of PDL standouts have gone their separate ways to kick off their professional careers.

Walker was one of 59 PDL alums selected in the 2017 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, and on Feb. 21, he signed for FC Dallas. Meanwhile, Tucker will be playing north of the U.S. border after signing a contract with the United Soccer League’s Ottawa Fury FC on Feb. 1.

“We continue to talk every day,” Walker told USLPDL.com. “We ask each other about how certain players are doing and what we did in training that day. Also, we’ve continued to watch each other’s preseason games; Ottawa had a successful trip down to Florida. But we have continued to support each other from afar.”

The Hume brothers began their collegiate career at Rollins College in 2012 and did well, but they both burst onto the scene in 2013. In that summer, Walker scored one goal and provided one assist in 11 games (980 minutes) before winning the PDL Championship alongside his brother.

The subsequent college season was a strong one for both Walker and Tucker, as the former was named 2013 Sunshine State Conference Defender of the Year and the latter earned All-Sunshine State Conference First Team honors.

“Winning the championship in Austin was a highlight for my first summer, but the team chemistry we had that year was part of the reason we were so successful,” Walker said.

“I knew I needed the PDL to continue to develop as a soccer player. It helped me grow my game in many different ways.”

Following the 2013 college season, he and Tucker continued to impress together during the 2014 PDL regular season. They also both joined NCAA DI powerhouse North Carolina ahead of the 2014 college campaign.

However, the brothers did not take the field together all season. Tucker redshirted in 2014, while Walker made 15 appearances for the Tar Heels. The two returned to the field together during the 2015 PDL season, but Walker suffered an injury as the campaign came to a close, forcing him into redshirting for the 2015 college season. This time it was Walker’s turn to watch from the sideline as his brother competed for the Tar Heels.

The following year proved to be a return to normalcy, as the Hume brothers traveled west together to play for the Portland Timbers U23 in the PDL. They then took the field in a competitive match together for the first time with the Tar Heels, and the result was good for North Carolina. The pair of 6-foot-5 talents led the program to a College Cup appearance in December before falling in penalty kicks to eventual champion Stanford.

Walker finished his PDL career with three goals and three assists in 39 games played (3,376 minutes) and one PDL title. Following the 2016 college regular season in November, he was ranked on the Top PDL Defenders in college list.

“The PDL was an awesome experience for me,” Walker said. “I played for three excellent organizations that all provided me with an opportunity to grow as a player in many different aspects.

“It allowed me to compete against the best players in the country and gain that experience from each team. The Austin Aztex, Midland/Odessa Sockers FC and Portland Timbers U23 all have different philosophies within their clubs that I had to adjust to. It also allowed me to adapt to different styles of play and learn from several different coaching staffs.”

Playing against high-caliber players across the country proved to be valuable experience for Walker, who used the PDL to stay sharp in between college seasons. Now he will look to bring that experience to a talented FC Dallas team that won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and MLS Supporters’ Shield in 2016.

“Even though the team was so successful last year, they still have aspirations to be even better this year,” Walker said. “Also, the opportunity to learn from some quality established center backs in the league such as Matt Hedges and Walker Zimmerman [excites me].

“I’m looking forward to learning from this excellent coaching staff and top-class organization.”

With the 2017 MLS regular season now underway, Walker – who was born in Dallas – relishes the opportunities before him at FC Dallas, even though his brother will not be with him on his professional journey. Maybe one day, he hopes, that will change.

“I enjoyed that chemistry and connection that we had on the field,” Walker said. “We were able to play off of each other. We both know each other’s strengths really well, so we would help one another out. That would be the dream to one day play professional soccer together on the same team.”


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