The 2016 Boys IMG Academy Top 150 spring update is out today, and Joshua Perez, who joined ACF Fiorentina’s youth academy in April, remains #1. The U.S. U15 Boys’ National Team member scored in the U15s’ defeat of Slovenia at the Tournament Delle Nazioni on May 3.
Several players recently have caught the eye of national team and college coaches, and have made significant moves up the IMG Academy 150. New York Red Bulls midfielder Matthew Olosunde climbs from #49 to #28 after earning a starting spot on the U.S. U15 BNT in their 1-1 draw against Chile. Orlando City’s David Loera and Sacramento United’s Alexis Dionicio climb from #60 to #43 and #61 to #52, respectively, after repeated invitations to U.S. U15 BNT camps. Forward Gerson Umana has caught the eye of just about everyone in sight, with 16 goals to his credit on DC United’s U16 Development Academy team, and climbs from #105 to #49.
As TopDrawerSoccer.com’s scouting network gets more extensive, we discover more and more players that need to be added to our lists. Additions to the IMG Academy 150 this spring include North Meck SC midfielder Phillip Goodrum at #135, Oakwood SC goalkeeper Mason Stadjuhar at #139, Houston Dynamo center midfielder Lucio Martinez at #145, and Texans SC Houston’s Rami Khoury at #149. All of these players have experience with their club’s Development Academy team, with Goodrum and Martinez earning full-time status.
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 South Carolina Battery forward Connor Sloan, IMG Academy defender Luca Fischer, Vardar forward/midfielder Tommy Dokho, BW Gottschee defender Daniel Torres, and Arsenal SC midfielder Christopher Gomez. 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.