The IMG Academy Top 150 Rankings for girls in the 2013 graduating class is out today. A few of the players have already left for college, and most will be signing National Letters of Intent in just a couple of weeks. There have been some significant additions to the IMG Academy Top 150 as well as to the regional rankings.
Morgan Andrews may remain #1, but Concorde Fire and U17 WNT goalkeeper Jane Campbell gets a little closer to the top spot, climbing from #8 to #4. The Stanford commit’s performance at the U-17 World Cup as well as her nod as U.S. Soccer Youth Player of the Year at the recent NSCAA convention helped her climb the ranks.
Another Concorde Fire member having a great season (besides head coach Brian Moore) is Malinda Allen. The Duke commit and center back is having an outstanding season on an outstanding team and jumps 20 spots to 65th in our rankings. A couple of other moves to note include Albertson’s Krystina Iodanou and Gwinnett SA goalkeeper Jill Maloney. Iordanou, a Vanderbilt commit, moves 38 spots to 76th in the rankings and has grown (literally – now at 5’10”) into a strong attacking presence out of her center back position. Maloney climbs 14 spots to 77th after a call up to the Republic of Ireland’s full national team in their friendly against the U.S. WNT this past December. Maloney is a regular on the Irish U21s and has already started her college career at the University of Georgia.
Multiple players are new to the list with this update. Among them are Michigan Hawks forward Madisson Lewis (#116), CESA defender Kayleigh Kurtz (#127), and NWA Lightning midfielder Tayler Estrada (#150). Lewis is a Michigan commit who has been a prolific goal scorer for the Hawks. Kurtz, who received multiple recommendations to be added to the IMG Academy Top 150, is an attacking outside back who has 8 goals and 5 assists to her credit, and will continue on to Richmond in the fall. And Estrada had a fantastic showing at the recent TDS Combine in Dallas. She is a two-way midfielder who led her team to the Region III Premier League’s Central Division championship last fall. She is certain to contend for playing time at Kansas.
Not only has the IMG Academy Top 150 received an update, but the regional lists have had some attention as well. Check back for the addition of Carmel United forward Tori Doss, Virginia Rush center back Brianna Nagle, Minnesota Thunder goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs, Mustang SC defender Lynsey Hromatko, and many, many more as we unveil the regional rankings updates throughout the week.
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.