D.C. United owns the No. 7 overall pick in the 2012 MLS Draft. We're reviewing some of the top college soccer players who might be worth Ben Olsen's consideration in the first round
Tyler Polak is a 5'-8" hard-working sophomore left back. He helped lead the Creighton Blue Jays to the College Cup Final Four last year, and earned a Generation Adidas contract with MLS. He isn't necessarily rated as an immediate starter by some of the top scouts, but you might say that Daniel Woolard isn't really an MLS starter either.
Taking Polak would mean an investment in the future. He's fast, he's steady, and he likes to get forward to contribute to the attack. Polak had one goal and five assists this season while starting every match for Creighton and playing all but seven minutes the entire year. But he probably won't be the best defender available at the time that D.C. United is picking. He might not even be the best left back available, as Hunter Jumper of UVA has really impressed this week. Just in terms of having an awesome name, I would take Jumper over Polak hands down!
Polak's so-called struggles at the MLS Combine have him plunging down the board in some mock drafts. Jason Saghini even has him falling out of the first round, meaning that he's either putting way too much stock into the Combine, or he didn't pay much attention to Creighton during the year. Not that any of us really did either. Polak has the potential to be a long-term solution at the position that has been the greatest concern for United for the last decade. That potential deserves some consideration at the No. 7 pick.
The 19-year old Polak was a major contributor for the United States at the 2009 U-17 FIFA World Cup. He has 35 caps at that level. And that experience will help him at the next level. Maybe it will help him for D.C. United.