2017 Boys IMG Academy Top 150 update
The IMG Academy Top 150 winter update for boys in the 2017 graduating class is out today. Changes to the top 20 reflect performances by members of the U.S. U16 Boys National Team at the Aegean Cup in January and members of the U17 Men’s National Team as it gears up for World Cup qualifying in just a few weeks. St. Louis Scott Gallagher defender Logan Panchot continues to perform well as a member of the U17 Residency Program, climbing from No. 16 to No. 12. From the U16 Boys National Team, Marty Raygoza followed a highlight-reel worthy performance at the Development Academy Showcase in December with an impressive performance at the Aegean Cup in Turkey in January, raising his rank from No. 15 to No. 11.
Bethesda SC midfielder Foster McCune, Capital Area Railhawks Academy-CASL forward Alex Rose, Chivas USA midfielder Oscar Penate, and Charlotte SA goalkeeper Andrew Pannenberg all climbed the ranks this quarter based on Development Academy performances in recent months. McCune spent much of last spring injured, but has rebounded to become one of the top players for Bethesda’s U16 Academy, climbing to No. 55 in the IMG Academy 150 rankings. Rose, a former TDS Combine participant, is having a breakout year in the Development Academy, currently tied for the second most goals scored in the U16 age group with 19, and climbs to No. 63. Penate has started all but one match for Chivas USA this season, climbing from No. 87 to No. 80, and Pannenberg, who climbs to No. 86, earned a spot on the Development Academy Select Team at the December Showcase, playing well enough to get a Best XI nod from our staff.
Several players new to the rankings include Bethesda-Olney center mid Elijah Amo and Revolution Empire center back Noah Keem. Amo is a regular starter for Bethesda’s U16 Development Academy squad and received multiple recommendations for his ranking, while Keem is entering his first full year in Academy play for Coach Paul Valenti’s 16s. 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 Sockers FC holding midfielder Patrick Yim, PDA midfielder Hans Kroschwitz, Colorado Rush center back Ian Jonsson, and many more. Keep checking back to see who else made the lists.
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.
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