The final update for the IMG Academy Top 150 rankings for the Class of 2015 is out today, just 48 hours before players can make their college intentions official. No. 1 Katie Cousins has already enrolled at Tennessee, and will get a semester of training and classes under her belt before the fall. Others foregoing their final semester of high school include No. 66 Cassidy Blacha, enrolled at Indiana, and No. 77 Kelsey Dossey at Missouri.
January’s U.S. U20 Women’s National Team camp provided a platform for a few players to raise their rank, or make their mark in the final IMG Academy Top 150 update. Sporting Blue Valley midfielder Dorian Bailey missed October’s camp due to injury, but is again healthy and climbs back into the top ten at No. 8. Ohio Elite goalkeeper Samantha Leshnak was included in the camp and climbs from No. 26 to No. 20. Also a part of the January camp was KC Metros Dynamo midfielder Parker Roberts, who debuted in our rankings last fall, and climbs to No. 39 with this update. Roberts earned a start in the scrimmage against Florida, where she played 90 minutes in central midfield. She recently switched her college commitment to Kansas.
Pride Predators forward/midfielder Alleandra Watt has been a part of our regional rankings, but earned an invitation to the U20s in October, and was invited to be a part of the new cycle at the latest camp. Watt, who will enter Texas A&M in the fall, earned a start against Bayern Munich in the camp’s first scrimmage, and scored two of the national team’s four goals against the University of Florida. When not on national team duty, she stars for coach Sian Hudson’s USYS National League team, where she has tallied four goals in four games. She has had an outstanding couple of months on the national stage and raises her ranking from regional to national, all the way to No. 34.
Three others worth a nod, Maitland Florida Krush midfielder Briana Solis, Arsenal FC and England youth national team holding midfielder Frances Steele, and Crossfire United midfielder Sydney Van Steenberge, all make their debut in this final update. Solis, at No. 76 has committed to SEC powerhouse Florida, Steenberge, at No. 96, to Yale, and Van Steenberge, at No. 148, to Oregon.
Not only has the IMG Academy 150 received scrutiny, but the regional lists have been updated as well. Keep checking back this week as we unveil newcomers such as KC Metros Dynamos defender Linda Fiorito (Drake), McLean YS forward Caroline Kearns (Virginia Tech), Dallas Sting defender Gabrielle Puente (Texas Tech), 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.