2017 Boys Top 150 Rankings Update

2017 Boys Top 150 Rankings Update
by Caroline Yort
May 26, 2014

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The 2017 boys IMG Academy Top 150 spring update is out today, and the top ten have all spent significant time in the first half of 2014 travelling with youth national teams. Among them, U17 Residency member John Nelson continues to impress and breaks into the top 10 at No. 10.

A couple of forwards make the most significant jumps in the top 50 this quarter. FC Golden State’s Marty Raygoza moves into the top 30 at No. 26 on the heels of three successful trips with the U.S. U15 Boys National Team, and LA Galaxy’s Hanif Wright climbs from No. 58 to No. 31. Both forwards scored in the U15 MNT’s 3-2 win over China PR U16s in Italy, and both have made significant contributions to the scoresheets of their respective Development Academy sides, Raygoza with 11 goals in 14 matches, Wright with 15 goals in 17 matches.

But Raygoza and Wright were not the only forwards to turn heads with this update. Another FC Golden State product, Kevin Aguilar, is the leading scorer in the U14 Development Academy’s southwest division as well as the nation with 29, just passing former top scorer Kaya Fabbretti, and his ranking vaults from No. 124 to No. 68. New York Red Bulls forward Zach Ryan climbs from No. 96 to No. 70, is the Red Bulls leading scorer, and has led his team to the top spot in the Grande Sports Academy TeamRank Top 25.

A few players making their debut in the IMG Academy 150 with this update include Kendall SC defensive midfielder Gabriel Paniagua at No. 82, St. Louis Scott Gallagher Illinois defensive mid/center back Orlando Arreola at No. 97, San Jose Earthquakes midfielder/forward Evan Valencia at No. 99, and Colorado Rush center back David Solis at No. 115. Paniagua is a regular starter in the midfield for Kendall’s U16s that lead the southeast division; Arreola, a starter for Kevin Stoll’s U16s, is a good ball winner and reads the game well; Valencia has 23 goals on a team where that is only second best to Febbretti, and Solis has started all but one match at center back for Mike Piserchio’s U16 squad that sits third in the tough frontier division.

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 Strikers FC forward Thomas Williamson, Indiana Fire midfielder Richard Bennett, Arlington Strikers midfielder Nelson Flores, Empire Revolution goalkeeper Josh Mahr, 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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