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MLS Mock Draft: Dynamo select Mamadou Diouf with No. 16 pick

The Dynamo have lost several forwards and Diouf would help fill that hole.

Photo by Steve Slade, UConn athletics

With the loss of Brian Ching and the unknown statuses of Cam Weaver and Calen Carr, the forward/striker position for the Houston Dynamo is in dire need of replenishment. With the 16th pick there are still a few good, technically sound forwards, but there is one in particular who stands out.

Mamadou Diouf has the look and feel of a previous Houston Dynamo forward, Joseph Ngwenya, who now finds himself playing for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the USL Pro. Diouf is lanky and scrappy. He possesses a quick burst of speed which the Dynamo really, really lack up top. Most of all, he has the capability to play up top as a forward partner for the Dynamo's Dancing Bear, Will Bruin.

Diouf is from Senegal and spent his college days at University of Connecticut with the Huskies. He had a truly dismal 2013 campaign, but his college career shows he has the talent and upside to be something truly special. In 2012, he netted 15 goals and maintaining a 1.52 goals per game line. Needless to say, he knows how to get the ball between the woodwork and into the net.

Oh, and I mentioned he's scrappy, right? It is almost a trademark of his in that he doesn't seem to get deterred by physical backs. If anything, physicality only seems to drive him harder, which in this version of MLS is a trait good forwards need.

What Houston will be looking for in the draft: It is simply, really. The Dynamo have a severe lack of depth at forward and center back. Need will far outweigh wants in this draft.

Who the experts say Houston will select: Kyle Venter or Grant Van De Casteele. Why? Both are defenders, and clearly the experts believe the need for defender depth outweighs the need for scoring.

Why I'm invariably wrong: If either Venter or Van De Casteele are available, I'm hard-pressed to truly believe the Houston Dynamo would pass on them. There is a need at defender, and so both would make a lot of sense. Also, it is important to note the Dynamo have been actively seeking a forward from overseas during the transfer window.

Why I'm smarter than the pundits: Any fan of the Dynamo know Dom has certain types of forwards he likes, and Diouf fits that build to a 't'. Just think Nate Jacqua and Joseph Ngwenya paired up with Brian Ching. It makes more sense to go forward here with so many solid defenders still available.

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