The fall update for the 2016 girls IMG Academy 150 is out today, and there are two players climbing within the top 20. De Anza Force midfielder Tierna Davidson and CASL center back/forward Taylor Otto both travelled with the U.S. U20 Women’s National Team to Honduras for their first international trip at this age group. Davidson, a Stanford recruit, has become the nation’s best holding midfielder in this class and went the full 90 in the U.S.’s 5-0 win over Honduras last weekend. Otto played 30 minutes in central defense in Honduras, and is the leading scorer at forward for her CASL ECNL U18s, having scored four goals in just two matches so far this season. Davidson enters the top 10 at No. 10, while North Carolina recruit Otto climbs to No. 19.
End of season tournaments and camps let several players shine over the summer. Our scouting network took notice and their rankings improved as a result. NJ Stallions Dynamite center back and Columbia recruit Amayla Johnson earned a spot on the TDS best xi list for the USYS Region I Championships where her level of comfort playing out of the back impressed our staff. Tampa Bay United’s Brianne Folds, an Auburn verbal, impressed enough at the US Youth Nationals to earn a daily best accolade, and several days later scored the game winner in the semifinals against Carlsbad Elite. Penn Fusion forward Meghan McCool has earned a couple of call-ups with the U20 WNT and will head to Virginia when her senior year is in the books.
More than a few players are peaking just as their high school careers come to a close, making our list for the first time. Internationals midfielder/forward Christina Trickett, Solar Chelsea defender Katina Tsapos, Boca United defender/forward Danielle Antieau, and Lonestar defender Sophie Taylor all debut in this penultimate update of the IMG Academy 150 for this class.
Trickett finished last season in the ECNL with 12 goals and 10 assists from her attacking midfield position, and is poised to lead her team again once the season starts in November. She could earn some playing time her freshman year for Tiffany Roberts’ UCF, with four midfielders graduating from this year’s roster. SMU recruit Tsapos is a good 1v1 defender that is one of the best in her region at her position. Clemson recruit Antieau can play either in defense or as a forward, and has two goals in five matches to help her Boca United squad to a winning record in their inaugural season in the ECNL. Taylor is another Auburn recruit in this class that was very highly recommended for this list.
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 Orlando City FC forward Ashley Kreinbring, New England Aztec, Boston Breakers, and Pingry School midfielder/forward Kerri Zerfoss, Continental FC Delco center back Taylor Newhart, Utah Avalanche center midfielder and Pepperdine recruit Ashley Buck, 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 three times per year. 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.