The IMG Academy 150 Rankings spring update for boys in the 2015 graduating class is out today, and most of the changes for this update deal with second half of the list. With that said, there are a couple of updates to remark upon for the best of the best. Justen Glad recently signed a Homegrown contract with Real Salt Lake and climbs from No. 10 to No. 8. Glad, a defender for RSL Arizona Development Academy, followed that up with a memorable performance with the U.S. U18 Men’s National Team in some international friendlies, scoring the opener against Canada.
A newcomer to the top half of the rankings with this update is Michigan recruit and Right to Dream Academy product Francis Atuahene at No. 41. Atuahene was highlighted by our staff for his play with Beachside SC at the prestigious Jefferson Cup last month, and his commitment to the Michigan men’s program in just over a year has their coaching staff excited about his potential.
Several others making their mark in the IMG Academy 150 are Carolina Rapids forward Tanner Roberts, Real So Cal midfielder Colin Hyatt, Weston FC center back Steven Ghitis, and Pateadores midfielder Luis Leon. Roberts, a forward and NC State recruit, rises from No. 106 to No. 81 and is the main reason for his team’s first place standing in the U18 Southeast Division. Roberts currently leads the Development Academy in goals with 21 in 27 matches. Hyatt, debuting at No. 103, is a lanky midfielder for Real So Cal’s U18s, who has led his team to a virtual tie with LA Galaxy for the second spot in the Southwest Division. Hyatt will be headed to Harvard at the end of next year. Ghitis, who climbs from No. 150 to No. 114, commands a back line for Weston’s U16s that has allowed just 16 goals this season, the fewest in the Southeast Division. Finally, Pateadores’ Leon has 12 goals this season to propel Teddy Chronopoulos’ U16s to third in the tough Southwest Division, moving him from No. 147 to No. 130.
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 Orlando City forward Jaiden Fortune, Sporting Kansas City defender Zane Moxley, DC United forward Owen Marshall, FC Wisconsin Nationals defender/midfielder Antonio Amaya, PDA forward and Monmouth recruit Cameron Harr, and many, 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.