We continue our look at some of the draft prospects coming out of college for the 2017 MLS SuperDraft and who Orlando might select, as well as which players might fit well with the organization.
The player we will be looking at today is the twin brother of a player we have already written about, North Carolina’s Walker Hume. His sibling, Tucker, who also plays at UNC, is also worth a look.
Who is Tucker Hume?
As we wrote about a few days ago, both Tucker and his twin brother Walker come from San Angelo, TX, via Westlake High School. Walker, the defender brother, was highly-touted coming out of high school, while Tucker, the forward, was looked less heralded. Both brothers wanted to go to the same school, but most schools they were looking at were only willing to take Walker, not the pair. Former Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath, a family friend of the Humes’, pointed them to Orlando’s own Rollins College, where Heath’s friend Keith Buckley has been plying his trade for 26 years.
Tucker and Walker began starting for the Division II school, both finding success in the Sunshine State Conference. After two years with the Rollins Tars, the pair transferred to the Tar Heels of North Carolina and a higher level of competition.
By this point, Tucker was more than just holding his own. He was proving the recruiters that passed him over wrong. Since his transfer, he has been the leading goal scorer for the Tar Heels for the last two seasons and has scored big goal after big goal for the program.
What the Numbers Say
Over the course of his collegiate career, Hume has appeared in 77 games combined between Rollins and UNC, 47 of which were starts. He scored a combined 32 goals, including nine game-winning goals, and added 17 assists. Through this season, Hume’s offense has helped the Tar Heels make their way to the College Cup semifinals and are set to play the defending champion, Stanford, today.
Throughout his two years at UNC, Hume has mostly been coming off the bench, only starting four times last year and 12 times this year, however, his production has made him one of the biggest threats up top for the team. This year, he has scored seven goals and assisted on four others. Last year, he tallied 11 goals and five assists with the team, also making the NCAA tournament, but crashed out in the third round against Creighton.
Height and Ability on the Ball
As previously stated about his brother Walker, Tucker stands at an imposing 6-foot-5, making him an ideal target man up top. For Orlando City fans, he is comparable to what Pedro Ribeiro was to the Lions in 2015. Hume has excellent footwork for his height and is very imposing in the final third. Not only is he a target on set pieces, but, much like Ribeiro, he has the ability to strike balls from distance with accuracy and with power.
In terms of dribbling in the final third, Hume is able to shove off would be tacklers and create space for himself simply by using his big frame. His ability to hold up play going forward and his deceptively quick footwork makes him a nightmare to defend against.
Since joining UNC, Hume has primarily been utilized as a super sub, coming into games and providing an offensive spark for the Tar Heels. Having carved out that niche for himself, he is an ideal person to fill that role at the next level. Almost all of his goals over the last two years have come off the bench, taking advantage of worn-down defenders. A player that can thrive and score goals with limited minutes could be a hot commodity when it comes to the SuperDraft.
Where Does He Fit?
Currently, Orlando only has Cyle Larin, Carlos Rivas, Hadji Barry and Bryan Rochez — who spent all of last season on loan — on the roster as forwards. Rivas and Barry are more speedsters and Larin is a bit more of a combination player with both finesse and strength. Hume could bring a strength and hold-up play up top, which could be very beneficial late in games. Potentially, if Orlando drafts Hume, he would spend some or even most of 2016 with OCB, but could be great depth if Larin is called up for national team duty or if the injury bug bites the Lions again in 2017.
For reference, here is a highlight reel showcasing Hume’s talents from the 2015 season (he wears No. 36 in the video).