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Hounds sign midfielders Walti, Sample for new season

By Staff, 01/26/24, 3:43PM EST


Former college opponents in ACC add to midfield depth for Pittsburgh this campaign

Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC has signed midfielders Jackson Walti (left) and Bradley Sample (right) ahead of the new season.

PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC announced on Friday the club had signed midfielders Jackson Walti and Bradley Sample to one-year deals with a club option for the 2025 USL Championship season. The transactions are pending league and federation approval.

The two players will be teaming up with the Hounds after having faced one another as college players in the Atlantic Coast Conference — Walti at the University of Pittsburgh and Sample at the University of Louisville.

Walti was a key part of Pitt’s teams that reached the College Cup semifinals in 2020 and 2022 after the St. Petersburg, Fla., native first arrived at the school as a walk-on. The 24-year-old went on to finish as the school’s career leader in minutes played, netting six goals and five assists, before being a second-round pick of Austin FC in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft.

In his first pro season last year, Walti began the year with Austin’s reserve side in MLS NEXT Pro before being loaned within the league to Colorado Rapids 2. He finished the year with 20 appearances (nine starts) and one assist between the two clubs.

“Jackson works, wins the ball and makes good decisions on the ball — all good attributes for a defensive midfielder that we pursued a year ago,” said Hounds Head Coach Bob Lilley. “His consistency and leadership with Pitt is exactly what we want to bring in to our team.”

Sample is first-year pro who was a workhorse in the midfield for Louisville, where he finished his career in 2023 second in matches played and third in minutes all-time. The Cardinals reached the NCAA Tournament four times in his career, advancing as far as the third round in 2019 with Sample as a freshman starter.

Originally from Channahon, Ill., the 23-year-old posted four goals and seven assists in his college career while operating primarily as a holding midfielder for the Cardinals

“Bradley was really solid at our combine in December and had a great career at Louisville,” Lilley said. “He is a versatile midfielder with a good engine and technical qualities that fit well with our current group.”

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