Looking at the 2017 Girls for our spring update, Ashley Sanchez still gets the top spot, but there has been movement among the top ten, and a couple of players new to the top 20. Colorado Rush forward Civana Kuhlmann was brilliant for U17 WNT in a 3-2 win against Switzerland’s U19s just last week, scoring two goals and providing the assist on a third, and moves to No. 2. On the trip to Europe with Kuhlmann was Eagles SC outside back Kiara Pickett, who climbs to No. 5.
De Anza Force defender Emily Smith and Indiana Fire forward Ryanne Brown both enter the top 25 upon earning consistent call-ups with the U17 WNT in the second quarter of 2016. Smith, a California recruit, is part of a back line for De Anza’s U17s that has given up just five goals in ECNL conference action all season, while Brown has amassed five goals and seven assists for the Fire’s U17s to help them earn a top seed for the upcoming ECNL playoffs.
A couple of players moving up in other parts of the IMG Academy 150 include Jacksonville FC midfielder Angeline Daly, Unionville Milliken defender Kennedy Faulknor, and Bethesda SC forward Cameron Murtha. Daly, a Florida State recruit, performed well enough at the ECNL San Diego event in April to be named to the TopDrawerSoccer Best XI from the event, and has 10 goals on the season for JFC’s U17s. Faulknor has made a verbal commitment to UCLA, and is a member of the Canadian full Women’s National Team. Murtha has 15 goals and 19 assists for Bethesda’s U17s, helping her team to a possible playoff berth once the regular season wraps up.
U17 Women’s National Team invitees Cora Duininck and Wrenne French have been added to the rankings, along with Deanne Rose. Duinick is a defender for the Texas Conference leading TSC Hurricane U17s, and is verbally committed to Liberty, while French, a forward for Tennessee SC, is pledged to Tennessee. Rose, like Faulkner mentioned earlier, is another Canadian on the full Women’s National Team.
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 Minnesota Thunder forward Morgan Turner, Beachside forward Lydia Shaw, Beadling SC defender and Michigan State verbal Athena Biondi, Sereno defender and George Washington verbal Allie Nornes 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.