The 216 girls IMG Academy Top 150 update is out today, and there are players making the top 20 list for the first time. A couple of players to highlight as part of that list are Beach FC midfielder Savannah DeMelo who lands at No. 15 and Eclipse Select forward Alissa Gorzak at No. 16. DeMelo, who has made her verbal commitment to USC, was previously part of the U14 and U15 GNT, and is a current member of the U.S. U18 Women’s National Team. She has been a discovery player for the ECNL while staying with her home club Beach FC in Southern California, a US Youth Soccer National League participant. Gorzak has five goals in eight matches for league leader Eclipse Select, was a part of the most recent U20 WNT camp, and received multiple recommendations for her ranking.
Players new to the rankings this quarter include FC Portland defender Lucy Davidson at No. 69, De Anza Force midfielder Tierna Davidson at No. 81, New Jersey Stallions Dynamite forward/attacking central midfielder Tomi Kennedy at No. 108, FC Dallas forward Natalee Heiser at No. 123, and Lonestar SC goalkeeper Brooke Kuempel at No. 131. Davidson attended August’s Nike ECNL NTC/id2 camp in Portland, followed by multiple call-ups to the recent U18 WNT camps, made a verbal commitment to women’s powerhouse Stanford, and has received strong recommendations to be added to our list. Kennedy scored an almost unbelievable 45 goals and added 21 assists for the 2014 NPL champion Stallions and has given her verbal commitment to Princeton. The final two players, Heiser and Kuempel, both hail from Texas and have given early verbal commitments to Mississippi State and SMU, respectively.
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 West Florida Flames midfielder/forward Haillie Lower, FC United (IL) forward Devin Burns, Crossfire Premier midfielder/forward and California recruit Mia Corbin, Colorado Rush defender and Mercer recruit Emma Musson, 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.