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MLS Mock Draft: Crew select Pedro Ribeiro with No. 23 pick

The massive midfielder from Coastal Carolina could be a physical force.

Photo courtesy of Coastal Carolina athletics

Far too often the Crew offense revolved around Federico Higuain to create something. Drafting Pedro Ribeiro would lift some of that burden. Ribeiro is 6'4" and 208 pounds, but with soft feet. He's not knocked off the ball easily. His passing is smooth and he's adept at seeing the angles.

Ribeiro played for Costal Carolina in the smaller Big South conference. Performing away from the spotlight didn't hinder him as he was named a NSCAA Second Team All-American this year. The Chanticleers made four straight NCAA tournaments with Ribeiro. Though seen as a creator rather than a scorer in MLS, he finished with 31 goals and 26 assists during his four years in college.

Ribeiro's strengths are with the ball at his feet. He's not an electric dribbler, but knows exactly what to do with the ball when he has it. His ability to work in traffic and still make the pass is an asset coming into a league where defenders are more than willing to knock a player down.

Ribeiro certainly has a high upside, but MLS teams will have to balance his physical talents against his lack of strong competition. MLS will be a far sterner test. He will have to adapt to the far quicker speed and physicality of the league. Another reason he might slip is that he was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and would require an international roster slot.

What the Crew will be looking for in the draft: Offensive punch. Head coach Gregg Berhalter is looking for a scorer, but college forward talent is far from a sure thing. The Crew could look to augmenting a thin back line if they fail to secure a defender in the first round.

Who the experts say the Crew will pick: Draft observers have Columbus picking up a local talent like winger Robbie Derschang from Akron or defender Nick Hagglund from Xavier. They would fit a need.

Why I'm invariably wrong: Ribeiro has the size to play in MLS, but he also has the vision. Players like that don't often fall through the first round.

Why I'm smarter than the pundits: Ribeiro's international status may scare off some teams looking for quicker impact from an international player. The Crew would be wise to snatch him up if he drops through the first round, but his stock has reportedly been rising.

Full Mock Draft results (click on player names to see the profiles)

First Round

Team Blog Pick
1. D.C. United Black and Red United Patrick Mullins
2. Philadelphia Union Brotherly Game Steve Neumann
3. Vancouver Whitecaps 86 Forever Andre Blake
4. Columbus Crew Massive Report Steve Birnbaum
5. FC Dallas Big D Soccer Christian Dean
6. Union Brotherly Game Marlon Hairston
7. Whitecaps 86 Forever Damion Lowe
8. Chicago Fire Hot Time In Old Town Grant Van De Casteele
9. San Jose Earthquakes Quake, Rattle and Goal Eric Miller
10. Montreal Impact Mount Royal Soccer A.J Corrado
11. Colorado Rapids Burgundy Wave Schillo Tshuma
12. New England Revolution The Bent Musket JJ Koval
13. Seattle Sounders Sounder at Heart Aodhan Quinn
14. LA Galaxy LAG Confidential Fifi Baiden
15. Toronto FC Waking the Red AJ Cochran
16. Houston Dynamo Dynamo Theory Mamadou Diouf
17. Portland Timbers Stumptown Footy Reinaldo Brenes
18. Real Salt Lake RSL Soapbox Ben Sweat
19. Revolution The Bent Musket Marco Franco

Second Round

Team Blog Pick
20. Chivas USA The Goat Parade Enrique Cardenas
21. Sounders Sounder at Heart Taylor Peay
22. New York Red Bulls Once a Metro Pete Caringi
23. Crew Massive Report Pedro Ribeiro
24. Toronto FC Waking the Red Joey Dillon
25. Union Brotherly Game Jared Watts
26. Timbers Stumptown Footy Kevin Cope
27. Union Brotherly Game Kyle Venter
28. Earthquakes Quake, Rattle and Goal Mackenzie Pridham
29. Impact Mout Royal Soccer Jimmy Ockford
30. Whitecaps 86 Forever Nikita Kotlov
31. Revolution The Bent Musket Victor Chavez
32. Dynamo Dynamo Theory Kristopher Tyrpak
33. Rapids Burgundy Wave Rafael Diaz
34. Red bulls Once a Metro Alex Martinez
35. Rapids Burgundy Wave Zach Bolden
36. Timbers Stumptown Footy Mark Sherrod
37. Impact Mout Royal Soccer Michael Calderon
38. Sporting Kansas City The Daily Wiz

Romena Bowie