Tyler David was a standout midfielder on Lakeville North's boys soccer teams before graduating in 2012. At Saint Louis University, he moved to center back defender for four solid seasons through 2015. At this week's Major League Soccer player combine, David slid over to right back.
That versatility might make David a pick in this week's MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore.
Defender Eric Miller of Woodbury, currently training with the U.S. men's national team, is the most notable Minnesotan recently selected, fifth overall in 2014 by the Montreal Impact.
The first two rounds of the draft, comprising the first 40 picks, will be held Thursday. David is more likely to be selected during the third and fourth rounds on Tuesday.
"Tyler's best quality was that he had a little bit of everything," Saint Louis coach Mike McGinty said. "He wasn't terribly flashy (coming out of Lakeville North). Nothing really jumped out at you. (But) the more you watched him, he was really good all around."
Although Minnesota United FC reps were in Lauderhill, Fla., to watch David and others at the combine, the club won't be participate in this year's draft. An announcement on when the second-division team will make the jump to the top domestic league, in 2017 or 2018, has yet to be made.
MLS analyst Matthew Doyle lists David as the third-best center back available, and defenders are considered an area of need throughout the league.
"A four-year starter at a college that produces pros, and his soccer upbringing is legit," Doyle wrote at mlssoccer.com. "David played some (defensive midfielder) in college, but he's a pure center back in MLS."
David's father, Steve David, played for the Trinidad and Tobago national team and won the North American Soccer League's MVP award in 1975.
"His father was a fabulous player," said his mother, Jenny, who played club soccer in Arizona.
Saint Louis is a bit of a factory for future pro players. The Billikens have three players in top international leagues and five across MLS. Alums Jack Jewsbury and Anthony Manning won the MLS Cup with the Portland Timbers in December.
"We've had more professional soccer players than any team in the country outside of UCLA," McGinty said . "We develop pros very consistently. I'm excited that (David) will be a part of the next group."
Still, David's odds of making an immediate impact in MLS are long. About half of the drafted players make rosters the following season.
However, David's interview with the New York Red Bulls revealed their desire to see him play on the right side. David, who is 6-2, 185 pounds, played the majority of three games at the combine on the right side.
"It was pretty positive for me," David said. "Most teams know that I'm a center back, but they also could see I could do the job at right back."
At Saint Louis, David scored three goals in four seasons but provided leadership and toughness on a back line that was among Atlantic 10 Conference leaders in shutouts in 2013 and 2014.
"I think he can play a couple of positions" in MLS, McGinty said. "I think he can solve a couple of things. ... He's an intelligent person. If given the opportunity, he just kind of finds a way."
David graduated with a degree in business administration and was a finalist for the NCAA's Senior Class Award for excellence in the community, on the field and in the classroom.
David flew back to Lakeville and hopes his name will be called in the MLS draft.
"I'm obviously a little nervous going into it because you never know what could happen and what teams are thinking necessarily," David said. "But I feel like I will get a chance to go somewhere."