Today we unveil our latest update to TeamRank, the comprehensive ranking system for elite club soccer teams nationwide, releasing the latest standings for U16, U17 and U18 Boys. Next week, we will update the older age groups on the Girls side. We will update our National Top 25 for each age group at least once per month.
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Newcomers excel at U16
While Development Academy veteran club and undefeated DC United comes in at #1 in this month’s rankings update, three relative newcomers to US Soccer’s top youth league are having outstanding seasons and have cracked the top 25. Orlando City, in its first year in the Development Academy, has taken charge of the Southeast Conference, and with a 2.58 points-per-game average coupled with an undefeated record at the Academy Showcase in December, the USL-based club lands at #6 in our rankings.
Having just one season in the Academy under their belts, Georgia United and Vancouver Whitecaps are also faring well, at #20 and #25, respectively.
US Youth Soccer National League in full swing for U17s
National League play is in more than halfway done for those teams not in the USSF Development Academy and Cup Crew Juniors Gold earns our #1 ranking based on play in that prestigious league. The Cincinnati-based club has already secured a bid to the 2013 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Overland Park, Kansas in July after finishing first in the blue division of the US Youth Soccer National League. The squad will play in the MidWest Regional League to prepare for July, and will face fellow National League qualifier Waza FC in the process.
National League participants OBGC Rangers, West Coast FC, and Lehigh Valley United are at #2, #3, and #5, respectively, but the big newcomer to the top 5 is FC Dallas 96 Premier. FC Dallas had a stellar fall season winning the Plano Labor Day Challenge and the Disney Showcase, as well as finishing second in the Region III Premier League West. They still have the conventional hurdles of the North Texas State Cup and Region III Championships in the way if they plan to contend for a national title this summer.
Can’t Stop the Red Bulls at U18
The #1 New York Red Bulls have been a powerhouse at this age group for several years, and this season is no exception. The Red Bulls lead the Northeast Division, are the only undefeated team in the U18 age group, and look to be well on their way to another trip to Finals Week.
Newcomers to the top 25 include Houston Dynamo at #15, New England Revolution at #23, and Irvine Strikers at #24. The Dynamo have climbed steadily to secondplace in the Frontier Division and will try to overtake Dallas Texans for the top spot when they meet this Saturday. The Revolution sit just behind NYRB in the Northeast Division standings, while the Strikers, currently fourth in the Southwest Conference, will be tested in February with matches scheduled against #3 Real Salt Lake AZ and #21 Real So Cal.
Next Thursday: U16, U17, and U18 Girls
TeamRank is the comprehensive team-ranking system devised by TopDrawerSoccer.com to provide an objective and common-sense approach to determining which elite youth soccer teams are the best in the nation.
The rankings, updated monthly, are primarily results-based, with a nod toward the league and championship competitions that emulate how excellence is determined in leading soccer nations around the world.
Tournaments are also included but at a reduced value due to the many mitigating factors involving such events, including attrition and guest players.
A final layer of executive evaluation is provided to account for variables that often impact results, thus ensuring that the monthly lists are not subjective, but are not purely mechanical.