PLEASE NOTE: The Summer 2013 update is the last IMG Academy 150 update that will be free. Starting with the Fall 2013 update, the IMG Academy 150 will only be accessible with a Premier Membership. Click here to become a Premier Member.
The 2016 Girls IMG Academy summer update is out today, and Marley Canales, Mia Gyau, and Mallory Pugh remain the top players in the country. All three are in England for two matches against England’s U-17s in preparation for the 2013 CONCACAF Women’s Under-17 Championship.
Moving into the top five is Dallas Sting center midfielder Jordan Harr (at #4). The diminutive Harr was named a standout by our staff at the most recent US U15 GNT camp and led her club team to an ECNL finals run during the 2012-13 season.
Fairfield Optimist defender Malia Berkely continues her climb up the ranks with this update, as does Crossfire Premier goalkeeper Lauren Rood and CASL forward Taylor Otto. All three have travelled with the U17 WNT to England along with our top three. Berkely climbs from #53 to #22 following consistent call-ups to youth national camps. Rood, at #43, recently made the move to ECNL’s Crossfire Premier from Washington Timbers for the 2013-14 season, while Otto, a UNC commitment, has fully recovered from a torn ACL that kept her out for much of last season, and looks to impress US Soccer staff in her first camp back.
A couple of first-timers worth a mention are Surf SC midfielder Olivia Erlbeck and FC Dallas defender Jada Holmes. Leading her ECNL team in goals and assists, Erlbeck, who debuts at #39, was the primary reason the San Diego-based squad finished first in the SoCal Conference, and only narrowly missed out on a chance to reach the ECNL finals. Her outstanding year was topped off with a call-up to the U17 WNT camp held at Ohio State in July. Holmes lands at #97 following a stellar season at center back with FC Dallas, and is being recruited by more than a few top D1 programs.
Not only has the IMG Top 150 received scrutiny, but the regional lists have been updated as well. Keep checking back this week as we unveil newcomers such as St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro forward Kathryn Besserman, Sporting Blue Valley holding midfielder Georgia Wiegel, Washington Premier FC goalkeeper Jordan Bertram, FC Bucks defender Sophie Axenroth 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