The IMG Academy 150 fall update for girls in the 2017 graduating class is out today, and Ashley Sanchez continues her reign as the top player in this age group. Though her team didn’t come away with an ECNL national championship in July, Sanchez was named to the TopDrawerSoccer Best XI for event. She is currently in Spain as the U20s’ World Cup preparation continues and the older players are in the midst of college soccer, along with fellow top 15 players Taryn Torres, Kiara Pickett, and Julie Doyle.
Fox, a North Carolina recruit, has become quite a world traveler in the past three months. In August, she attended a camp with the U18 WNT in Mexico City, scoring the only two goals for the US in a two game run against the Mexico U20 WNT. She then travelled to Honduras with the U20 WNT in September, and is now in Spain with fellow U20s Sanchez, Torres, Pickett, and Doyle. Her ranking has taken a huge step up from its previous No. 72 spot as a result.
Burkett, who has given a verbal commitment to Tennessee, has an almost unbelievable 11 goals and seven assists for Richmond United’s U16 in just six matches played. In addition to her stats in the ECNL, Burkett has been a part of two recent camps with the U17 WNT.
More than a few players have been added to the rankings this fall, such as Colorado Storm’s Alexis Loera, Crossfire United midfielder Mia Palmer, Michigan Hawks defender Samantha Kleedtke, McLean defender Shannon Lee, and Dallas Texans forward Alexandria Griffin. Loera, a Santa Clara commit, is a defensive midfielder who impressed as part of the U17 WNT during their scrimmage against the U16 GNT this weekend. Palmer is an Oregon commit, and was recently called into October’s U18 WNT camp. Kleedtke, a Wisconsin recruit, earned best xi nods from our staff at two different ECNL events within the last six months, as well as receiving multiple recommendations to be added to our lidyd. Finally, Griffin, a Texas A&M recruit, is a TDS Combine alumna who is having a great year in the ECNL, having scored 10 goals so far for the Texans while adding five assists.
Not only has the IMG Top 150 received scrutiny, but the regional lists have been updated as well. Keep checking back over the next couple of weeks as we unveil newcomers such as San Juan SC defender Kelsey Hill, Sereno SC center back Paige Donathan, Orlando City outside defender Olivia Simmons, Utah Avalanche goalkeeper Abbie O’Brien 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 three times per year. 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.