The 2016 boys IMG Academy Top 150 summer update is out today, and there is a new No. 1 in the land. Christian Pulisic continues his leadership role with the U.S. U17 Men’s National Team and finally reaches the top spot, followed by Daniel Barbir, Joshua Perez, Brooks Lennon, and Eric Calvillo to complete the top five.
Several players made moves up the ranks this quarter, including Keegan Kelly, Emmanuel Dapaa, Connor McGlynn, and Tanner Dieterich. Dieterich, a defender who hails from Nashville, Tennessee but has spent the last year as part of the U17 MNT Residency program, has earned his way into the top 15 at No. 13. McGlynn, a midfielder for BW Gottschee’s U15 National Premier League team, captained his squad through a penalty kick shootout to take the NPL National Championship crown in July, and his ranking ticks up a bit to No. 41 in the process.
The most dramatic moves in the IMG Academy 150 come from two players who were brilliant at last month’s US Youth Soccer National Championships. Baltimore Celtics midfielder Keegan Kelly and Ohio Premier forward Emmanuel Dapaa took the spotlight as their teams faced each other for the U16 national title. Kelly proved himself to be a tough and tenacious midfielder, while Dapaa earned the golden boot for the tournament with eight goals. Kelley then finished a busy month of July with the U17 MNT in Denmark. Kelly moves to No. 24 while Dapaa climbs to No. 21.
Among those entering the ranks for the first time are Sebastian Garcia Herreros, Bob Jnohope, and Frank Controneo. Weston FC forward Sebastian Garcia Herreros is a right sided defender/midfielder who led Coach Victor Pastora’s U16 Development Academy squad to a first place finish in the Southeast Division. Chargers SC center back Bob Jnohope, another Floridian, has garnered interest from many top college programs. Revolution Empire right back/forward Frank Controneo earned a spot in our regional rankings in the spring, but finished his season strong in the Development Academy and climbs into the IMG Academy 150 for the first time. Click here to see where they are ranked.
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 PFC Shaker midfielder Max Mazzolla, Vardar goalkeeper Pearce Skinner, Sockers FC midfielder and Marquette verbal commitment Patrick Seagrist, Houston Dynamo defender Cameron Walker, 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 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.