The IMG Academy Top 150 Rankings summer update is out today for girls in the 2014 graduating class. The top five remain unchanged with this update, but the end of the ECNL season signals the beginning of the rankings for some new players.
#118 VSI West Florida Flames midfielder Jessie Scarpa has been in our regional rankings for a while, but our scouts named her as a top performer at the PDA Showcase, then added a notable performance at the ECNL National Finals. Scarpa, a North Carolina commit and the Gatorade Player of the Year in Florida, has commanded the center of the park for her team this season, leading them to a strong showing in their inaugural year in the ECNL.
Also debuting with this update is Birmingham United SA forward Charde Hannah at #124. Hannah scored 10 goals for BUSA during the regular season, and added 4 more at the ECNL North American division playoffs in June, including a hat-trick in the squad’s 4-3 defeat of FC Dallas. Hannah is spending the summer playing for Alabama FC of the WPSL.
Of players already in our rankings, there are a few who have performed well over the last few months and have caught the eye of coaches and our scouts. Slammers forward MacKenzie Cerda moves from #25 to #15 after an outstanding regular season in the ECNL in which she scored 17 goals, earning her a Golden Boot nod. The UCLA commit continued her torrid pace at the PDA showcase (5 goals) as well as in the ECNL Playoffs and Finals. In addition to Cerda, Michigan Hawks midfielder Taylor Timko, Carmel United midfielder Katy Keen, and Albertson SC defender Shannon Horgan all move up based on recent performances. Timko was named a NSCAA High School All-American this spring, Keen garnered top performer accolades at the ECNL playoffs, and Horgan has fought back from a torn ACL to help lead her team to the ECNL Finals. Click here to see where they are ranked.
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 Carmel United midfielder/defender Gabrielle LaMere, FC Stars of Massachusetts forward Christina Wakefield, Crossfire Oregon defender/midfielder Alexis Frey and 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.