The Girls 2017 IMG Academy Top 150 club soccer player rankings is out today, and Madison Haley remains the No. 1 player in the country. Haley started all three matches for the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team in the recent NTC Invitational and while she didn’t get on the scoresheet, she was the only player in the class of 2017 to receive significant minutes.
Four other members of this class to make the roster for the tournament were No. 3 Frankie Tagliaferri, No. 15 Ashley Sanchez, No. 18 Karlie Paschall, and No. 21 Taryn Torres. PDA midfielder Tagliaferri is a veteran now with this group, while the others were making their first appearance, looking to get their feet wet before the next U-17 world cup cycle begins. Sanchez, a forward who leads her So Cal Blues team in assists this season, keeps climbing in our rankings, from No. 29 to No. 15 with this update. Paschall, a midfielder from Tennessee SC, like Sanchez has attended every youth national team camp at the U14 and U15 level since September, and jumps from No. 43 to No. 18. Solar midfielder Torres, at No. 21, has been on a similar tract, but when not on national team duty has contributed six goals and five assists for her Solar squad ranked No. 4 in the Grande Sports Academy TeamRank Top 25.
Several other players have made significant moves up the IMG Academy 150 rankings with this update, including Colorado Rush midfielder Tess Boade, TSC Hurricane forward Parker Goins, Crossfire SC outside back Jojo Harber, and San Diego Surf forward Arlie Jones. Boade received a call-up to her first U.S. Soccer youth national team camp in January, but is no stranger to the national spotlight, having previously attended US Club Soccer id2 camps and the US Youth Soccer ODP Interregional last fall. In addition to these accolades as well as being a significant contributor to the score sheet for her ECNL team, she received multiple recommendations for her current ranking, landing her at No. 43. Goins, who climbs from No. 137 to No. 65, is the leading scorer in the ECNL U15 division with 20 goals and 8 assists on the season and is being recruited by some of the top schools in the nation. Harber is a discovery player for a Crossfire team that is stacked with players in the IMG Academy Top 150, has received multiple youth national team invitations, and climbs from No. 99 to No 55. Jones, who enters the rankings for the first time at No. 112, is a significant contributor on a San Diego Surf squad that houses the likes of midfielders No. 2 Catarina Macario and No. 6 Chloe Frisch. Jones was also a standout at the TDS Los Angeles Combine in December.
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 Classics Eagle midfielder Sarina Dirrig, Arlington SA defender Genevieve Foster, World Class FC midfielder/forward Clair Nam, Colorado Storm defender/midfielder Morgan Metcalfe, Atlanta Fire United goalkeeper Jordyn Ebert, 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.