The IMG Academy Top 150 for girls in the 2017 graduating class is out today, and Madison Haley is the new No. 1. Haley earned starts in three of the five matches for the United States U17 Women’s National Team at the CONCACAF Championship and scored the lone goal for the U.S. in the semi-finals against Mexico, finishing the tournament with four goals and four assists. In her first game back with the Dallas Texans U17 ECNL team (playing two age groups up), Haley provided the assist to leading scorer Brittany Crabtree in a 1-0 defeat of Albion Hurricanes. While Catarina Macario continues to dominate her age group in the ECNL, we couldn’t help but give Haley a much-deserved accolade.
Civana Kuhlman climbs from No. 10 to No. 4 after a stellar performance off the bench for the U17 WNT in Jamaica. Kuhlman finished with two goals, and was labeled one of five players that made a mark for the U17s, along with Haley and No. 3 Frankie Tagliaferri.
In addition to Kuhlmann, West Coast FC forward/midfielder Ashley Sanchez, Crossfire forward/defender Kelsey Turnbow, Alliance FC midfielder Madison Alexander and Slammers FC defender Mikayla Edwards garnered attention from U.S. youth national team staff and have earned a spot in our rankings. Sanchez moves from No. 45 to No. 29 with this update after adding three national team camps to her resume in the last three months and adding five goals and five assists in eight games played for her still undefeated So Cal Blues squad. We first saw the lanky Turnbow at US Club Soccer’s Charleston id2 camp last April, where she was a standout at forward and outside back positions. Since then, she has two U.S. U14 GNT camps to her credit and climbs from No. 84 to No. 48. Alexander and Edwards both earned invitations to youth national camps in the last several months. Click here to see where they are ranked.
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 Buffalo Soccer Academy midfielder Madison Lowe, New England FC defender Alyssa Lum, Dallas Texans forward Trinity Thomas, Internationals defender/midfielder Hannah Nichols, FC Virginia left back Catherine Kwitnieski, 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.