2015 Boys IMG Academy 150 Update

2015 Boys IMG Academy 150 Update
by Caroline Yort
February 11, 2013

The 2015 Boys IMG Academy 150 Rankings update is out today, and Shaquell Moore is our new #1. The U17 Men's Nataionl Team residency defender didn’t have far to climb, however, since he was just one spot lower in our last update.

boys club soccer player shaquell mooreShaquell Moore

Other defenders moving up include residency newcomers Erik Palmer-Brown of Sporting Kansas City, who climbs from from #46 to #13, and Justen Glad of Real Salt Lake AZ, who debuts at #21. Palmer-Brown has been a part of the SKC Academy group for a while and was invited to a U15 BNT camp last fall, while Glad is new to RSL’s U16 USSF Academy squad, and performed well enough to earn an invitation to the Select team match at the Academy Showcase, followed by an invitation to residency for the spring semester. Both players were put in starting roles for last week’s friendly against the Top 16 from Nike’s The Chance. Our scouts were in attendance and said they performed well enough to earn their spots in the IMG Academy 150.

It’s not just defenders that have been showing well in the USSF Academy’s inaugural 10-month season, and we have reflected that in the overall shake-up in this quarter’s rankings update.  Solar Chelsea’s Caleb Smith, Sockers FC forward Frank Bak, Colorado Rush midfielder/forward David Ortiz, DC United midfielder Jimmy Filerman, and Kendall SC forward Gabriel Osorio have all made strides this quarter. Smith, who climbs from #82 to #30, is a midfielder who started 100% of the games he played for Solar this fall, was part of the Academy Select teams, and is now in residency. Bak debuts at #106, Ortiz at #112, Filerman at #138, and Osorio at #145.

In addition to the IMG Academy 150 update, we have made key changes to the regional rankings which will be unveiled throughout the week. Some of the additions include Crew Soccer Academy defender/midfielder Shea Smalley, St. Louis Scott Gallagher goalkeeper Nick Posey, and Baltimore Bays midfielder/defender Timothy Barger. Keep checking back to see who else made the lists.

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.

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