The IMG Academy 150 Rankings spring update for boys in the 2015 graduating class is out today, and Shaquell Moore remains #1. The U17 Men’s National Team captain was solid defensively at the CONCACAF Championships in Panama.
NJSA 04 center back Alvaro Montoya makes the biggest move this month, climbing from #144 to #85 in the IMG Academy 150. Montoya is having a great season as captain for Tab Ramos’ U16 Development Academy squad, in which he has started all 19 games and has 2 goals. Montoya is a skillful center back who is great in the air, and is garnering interest from some of the top schools in the nation.
Real So Cal goalkeeper Justin Vom Steeg continues to impress US Soccer Youth National team coaching staff. Vom Steeg performed well during April’s U17MNT camp at the Home Depot Center, as did Crew Soccer Academy Wolves midfielder Kostandin Moni, and as a result, Vom Steeg climbs from #49 to #40 in our rankings and Moni climbs from #64 to #47.
New additions to the IMG Academy 150 include Chicago Blast forward Rigoberto Rojas and LA Galaxy defender Alexander Ramos. Both were called into the recent U17 MNT camp for those born in 1997. Rojas, at #94, travelled with the U15 BNT to Holland last May and has continued to perform well for the Blast this spring. Ramos, at #95, has started 17 matches for LA Galaxy’s U16 Development Academy team, and has four goals to his credit.
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 Match Fit Chelsea defender/midfielder Zachary Perez, NJSA 04 outside mid Andres Camacho, Real So Cal midfielder/forward Luis Carbajal, Georgia United defender Nigel Blackwood, and Houston Dynamo center mid Jacob Salome.
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.