[MLS ROOKIE CLASS: Ten to Watch] Pedro Ribeiro is proof that those highlight tapes players make can work. The DVD the 6-foot-4 Brazilian made ended up in the hands of a cousin working for a sports agency. One thing led to another, and Ribeiro ended up signing with Coastal Carolina, which he helped lead to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. He ranks as one of the most interesting attacking options in this year's SuperDraft.
MLS Rookie Class: Ten to Watch
1. Jordan Allen (Univ. of Virginia-signed with Real Salt Lake)
Read his story. Follow @jayalllen.
2. Steve Birnbaum (Univ. of California)
Read his story. Follow @StevenBirnbaum
3. Marlon Hairston (Univ. of Louisville)
Read his story. Follow @MARLYG10
4. Christian Dean (Univ. of California)
Read his story. Follow @christiandean22
5. Pedro Ribeiro (Coastal Carolina Univ.)
Ribeiro had no intention of continuing with soccer when he made the DVD. He had suffered a knee injury that had sidelined him for a year and a half, but he did have ambitions of attending college. He says he simply made the DVD for his family and friends, but his cousin's agency suggested it should send it off to U.S. colleges.
Coastal Carolina coach Shaun Docking saw the tape, and Ribeiro moved to the United States a month later.
“It happened really quick. It was like a month everything just happened -- the DVD, the email, the calls and everything,” Ribeiro told the Myrtle Beach Sun Times. “In December, I started talking to Coach Docking, and in January I was already here. It was pretty crazy.”
Ribeiro finished his Coastal Carolina career ranked 11th all-time with 31 goals, tied for sixth with 26 assists, and ninth with 88 points. The Chanticleers won three Big South regular-season and two Big South tournament championships. Following the departure of star Ashton Bennett, Ribeiro had to take on a bigger role with the Chanticleers, leading them with 11 goals and seven assists during a 2013 campaign that produced wins at NCAA Tournament teams Wake Forest and VCU during the regular season and wins over East Tennessee State and Charlotte in the NCAA Tournament.
There are not a lot of central midfield prospects in the draft -- GA signing Marlon Hairston of Louisville is the other big one -- so Ribeiro could go in the first top 10 picks