The IMG Academy 150 Rankings winter update is out today for girls in the 2014 graduating class. Bethesda SC midfielder Andi Sullivan remains #1 and continues to impress the U.S. WNT coaching staff. Sullivan was the only player in the class of 2014 invited to the U20 WNT camp being held this week at the Home Depot Center.
Others catching the eye of the U.S. YNT coaching staff since our last update include Internationals midfielder Emily Ogle, and two goalkeepers – So Cal Blues’ Alison Jahansouz, and Yankee United’s Darien Dunham. All three players received invitations to the U.S. U18 WNT February camp, being held concurrently with the U20 YNT camp at the HDC. Ogle, an Alabama commit, moves from #120 to #54, and has led her team to a perfect 4-0 start in ECNL play with 4 goals and 3 assists in just 4 games. Stanford commit Jahansouz climbs from #130to #62, and was selected to the US Youth Soccer ODP Interregional All-Star team in November. Dunham, the lone non-ECNL player in this group, debuts at #56, and is verbally committed to UConn.
Dunham is not the only player making our list for the first time. PDA midfielder Kate Walters debuts at #80, Michigan Hawks forward Jamie Chesklik at #92, FC Bucks forward Meghan Schafer at #131, and Albertson defender Shannon Horgan at #136. Walters, who is committed to Rutgers, is having a great season in the middle of the park for PDA. Cheslik, a Michigan State commit, is the leading scorer for the Hawks with 11 goals on the season, while the hard-working and athletic Schafer seems to have a hand in every goal scored by her squad, and will take her talents to 2012 NCAA runner-up Penn State. Lastly, Horgan is having a remarkable recovery from a torn ACL suffered last year, and is committed to Clemson.
Not only has the IMG Top 150 received scrutiny, but the regional lists have been updated as well. Keep checking back this week as we unveil newcomers such as Sporting Blue Valley’s Jordan Knox, FC Wisconsin Eclipse’s Cassidy Blanchard, World Class’s Alana O’Neill, Santa Rosa United’s Hannah Diaz, Irvine Striker’s Alexandra Karlowitsch, and Dallas Texans’ Jordan Connors, and many, many more.
As far as how we arrive at the rankings, it’s no simple task.
We keep a national database of players as the starting point for our rankings (if you’re not in it, enter a profile here).
We track an extensive list of selections to national team camps and other honors including USSF Development Academy (Boys), ECNL (Girls), and U.S. Youth Soccer National League event and season awards, plus U.S. Soccer Training Centers, ODP, id2 and other player identification programs.
From there we look at additional signs of top player performance in a club environment, with the help of an extensive network of observers around the country. The priority here is for club, college, national team and other select team coaches on the ground, but especially when we can gain corroborating opinions. The more layers of opinions we can gain accumulate the better, as our role is primarily to aggregate those viewpoints, rather than making our own determination as to a player’s quality.
As a matter of policy, we never share which coaches said what about whom so that coaches will be freer to share their assessments. Another policy is that parents’ opinions about their own children are not considered, but you are welcome to provide feedback about honors and other details that may be of help to us in keeping their profiles up to date as well as our challenge of sifting through thousands of players nationwide. That kind of data can be helpful, but the: “How can you not have rated my kid? He is awesome” communique, while compelling, will be consigned to the virtual trash.
In the end, there’s always some level of subjectivity about players, because after all, how good someone is relative to someone else is largely a matter of opinion, but we do our best to make our rankings as educated an opinion as can be.
The rankings will be updated every quarter. Keeping current rankings for 8 classes of 150 players each is no small task, and it is counterintuitive to think the rankings would change daily or weekly. We will announce each update.
So that’s it. You can see the newest version of the rankings here.