The spring update for the 2016 girls IMG Academy 150 is out today, and there are two new players in the top ten. Norwest SC and UCLA verbal Jessie Fleming will spend her summer representing Canada on her home turf at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The midfielder’s inclusion on the full national team warranted a move into the top ten. The other player moving up is Beach FC midfielder and USC verbal Savannah De Melo. Still a member of the ODP Region IV team, as well as a discovery player for Surf SC ECNL, De Melo seems to be everywhere these days, and was one of just four players in this age group to participate in U20 Women’s National Team camps this spring, along with fellow top tens Mallory Pugh, Marley Canales, and Jordan Harr. And if all that wasn’t enough to justify her upward mobility, she received unsolicited glowing recommendations from scouts and opposing coaches.
Fleming and De Melo were not the only players to fare well this spring. De Anza Force midfielder Tierna Davidson, FC Bucks goalkeeper Erin Seppi, Slammers forward Lexington Magliarditi, and FC Virginia center back Kayla Morrison all improved their rank in these last few months.
Davidson continues to make her mark with the No. 1 team in the Grande Sports Academy TeamRank Top 25, and in addition to earning a couple of call ups with the U18 WNT, the Stanford verbal commit impressed TopDrawerSoccer enough to receive a best XI nod at the PDA Showcase just this weekend.
FC Bucks are in the running for fewest goals allowed in the ECNL U17 age group with 12, going into the Memorial Day weekend, and Seppi, who is verbally committed to Maryland along with center back Laura Suero are the main reason why.
Magliarditi, a Duke verbal commit, was a standout forward for Amanda Schmutz’ Heat FC before moving to Slammers for the 2014-15 season, and has continued to improve, scoring 15 goals for the No. 8 team in the nation, second only on the squad to youth national team member Carly Malatskey.
Morrison, who made her debut in the IMG Academy 150 after making the best xi list at the TDS Raleigh Combine last summer, climbs again on the heels of a particularly stingy performance at center back for FC Virginia’s U17s this season, who as a team have given up just 10 goals in league play. Morrison will head to Virginia in 2016.
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 TSF Academy goalkeeper Samantha Allen, Pleasanton Rage forward Pagan Hetherington, FC Elk Grove forward/midfielder Taylor Lemmond, Beach FC midfielder Rocio Rodriguez, 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.