The Fall update in our TopDrawerSoccer.com Players To Watch National Top 150 for 2016 Boys is out and Joshua Perez is the new #1 player from this graduating class.
Perez is an attacking player with Chivas USA in Southern California. He has made a consistently strong impression with the U15 Boys National Team, and is expected to be a top prospect for the next level.
Other top players in the ranking include Cameron Lindley, a midfielder from Indiana United Fire who has been with the U17 Men’s National Team (and will be again at the upcoming Nike Friendlies) and Benny Swanson, a midfielder with Crew Soccer Academy in Columbus, also with the U17 MNT.
The 16 regional ranking lists have also been updated, with new players added. Among other players topping their region are Christian Pulisic in Pennsylvania, Logan Panchot of St. Louis Scott Gallagher and Orrin Norris of Lonestar SC in Texas.
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.
As always, thank you for reading TopDrawerSoccer.com