Coming home: West Mesquite alumni joins the Outlaws

Thirty-eight-year-old Shaun David is a Mesquite native who will play forward for the Mesquite Outlaws. He’s previously played for the Dallas Sidekicks, Baltimore Blast, Omaha Vipers, Monterrey La Raza, New Jersey Ironmen and St. Louis Steamers. David attended West Mesquite High School and got his soccer start as a youth in the Mesquite Soccer Association.

How old were you when you began playing soccer with the Mesquite Soccer Association?

About 4 or 5 years old.

What drew you to the sport?

My uncle played soccer and he was a few years older than me, so I kind of looked up to him, and that’s why I started playing.

When did you know that you wanted to do this professionally?

It wasn’t until my later teen years, in high school I think, that I pursued wanting to play professionally. Before that it was just for fun and with friends, but as I got older and got more competitive I went that route.

How does it feel to represent your hometown?

It feels great. Playing in the league for so many years when people asked where I was from I basically said Dallas, so now that I’m playing for Mesquite a lot of players from the league that I’m still friends with ask about the team I’m playing with and I’ll tell them it’s my hometown, Mesquite.

What are some of your favorite memories so far?

Just the fans and atmosphere in each city and getting to meet new people. And getting to be around kids and seeing the impact that we have on a lot of kids from different areas of towns we play in.

What are you looking forward to with a new team?

Just a chance to play in my hometown. I have a lot of friends and family who still live in Mesquite. I’d play in all these cities, and they’d fly in or come to at least one game a season, but now I get to play in front of them weekly. It's basically a dream come true. And just getting to represent my hometown and be close to friends and family is a great feeling.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

Not really, just listening to music.

Do you do anything to celebrate a win?

I’ve played so long in the league that when you get a win it’s a good feeling, but after that game you start thinking about the next game. Usually it’s a good dinner after a game and just sitting with friends and teammates.

Any advice for kids who hope to be like you?

Just work hard; work ethic is everything. There’s a lot of talented players out there, but if they don’t have the heart and don’t put in the work for every moment of the game and just get out there thinking they’re better than other people so they don’t try as hard and rely on just their skills. Growing up I wasn’t the best player out there, but I worked harder than everyone on the field and that’s what made me become such a good player.

Who were some of your favorite sports icons that you looked up as a young player?

Kevin Smith was my head coach, and Nick S. was the assistant coach. They said I had a future (in professional soccer) and it was something I should pursue. Tatu, for me growing up, was the icon. He’s basically what brought soccer to Dallas, and when I was little everybody wanted to be Tatu. When I went professional and got to play under him it was a dream come true.

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