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Super Draft 2014

2014 MLS Player Combine Stock Watch: Brazilian Pedro Ribeiro provides the highlight of the day

LAUDERHILL, Fla. – It was the last-chance saloon for players hoping to prove they belong in MLS as the 2014 adidas MLS Combine came to a close on Tuesday. And a couple of players clearly left it all on the field. Simon and Matt, on the scene in South Florida, break down the best and worst from the third and final matchday:


STOCK UP:

Enrique Cardenas (UC Irvine) – The diminutive, creative midfielder had been a non-factor before Tuesday, when he finally asserted himself and battled like it was his last chance. Even if the final product in the final third was lacking, Cardenas showed the coaches that despite his size, he can protect the ball under pressure and pass out of trouble. (Range: Third round)

Taylor Peay (Washington) – Another player who clearly sensed he had to make up for a below-average Combine. He attacked the ball and stepped up to challenge forwards instead of waiting for them to come at him. (Range: Late mid- to late second round)

Pedro Ribeiro (Coastal Carolina) – Provided the highlight of the day when he intercepted a pass in midfield and drove right down the opposition's throat before applying a masterful curling finish into the side netting. It's flashes like those throughout the Combine that will ensure he's a first-round pick. (Range: Early to mid-first round)


STOCK DOWN:

Kadeem Dacres (UMBC) – If he's drafted it's because he can run up and down the left wing and beat defenders 1-on-1. Yet in the Combine finale he was pinching inside and trying to make things happen from a more central position. Not a good look for him. (Range: Late second round)

Robbie Derschang (Akron) – In what is already a weak draft at left back, one of the top three rated players at the position had a nightmare: Subpar defensively and giveaways galore with the ball at his feet. Showed that he's only recently converted to the position. No. 1-ranked left back Ben Sweat (South Florida) just became that much more attractive to teams. (Range: late second round, early third round)

Tesho Akindele (Colorado School of Mines) – He admitted after the match that it was his worst performance of a breakout showing at the Combine. Didn't show the same explosive pace and wasn't much of a threat going forward save for one near goal. Heavy legs may be to blame. It doesn't erase what he did in the first two matches, however. (Range: Mid- to late first round)