The 2017 girls IMG Academy 150 summer update is out today, and we have a returnee to the No. 1 spot. San Diego Surf forward Catarina Macario may not have the current resume of No. 2 Frankie Tagliaferri, who continues to be a mainstay in the U.S. youth national team setup, but her performance this summer earned her several best XI accolades, including at the ECNL finals as well as August’s ECNL/id2 camp in Portland.
With championship tournaments and TDS Combines in the spotlight in June and July, many players took the opportunity to show their skills to our scouts, college coaches (yes, even at this age), and US Soccer staff, raising their stock in the IMG Academy 150. Climbing from No. 30 to No. 17 is Eagles SC attacking center mid/outside back Kiara Pickett. Pickett earned top ten accolades at Nike ECNL/id2 Portland, and is on her way to Korea with the U17 Women’s National Team. Michigan Hawks midfielder Isabel Rodriguez climbs from No. 138 to No. 37, and after earning her first call up with the U17 Women’s National Team in June, “Izzy” impressed enough to be part of the squad again this month. Rodriguez also led her Michigan Hawks U15 squad to a playoff spot during the 2013-14 season. Finally, Washington Premier FC forward Jenna Killman performed well at the TDS Combine Seattle, earning a best XI nod, and raising her ranking from No. 125 to No. 115.
Earning a spot for the first time this summer are a couple of players who had breakout seasons in the ECNL during 2013-14. San Diego Surf goalkeeper Savannah Madden debuts at No. 72 after her performance at ECNL finals which earned her a spot in the best XI. Albion Hurricanes midfielder Kamryn Birk has already caught the eye of the coaching staff at Texas Tech, making an early verbal commitment to the Red Raiders, and with multiple recommendations, lands at No. 82 on our list.
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 Elite defender Ann Marie Boeckman, Minnesota Thunder forward Lauren Witte, Albertson SC defender Halle Fiedler, Boston Breakers Academy goalkeeper and TDS Combine New England participant Hannah Kelleher, and 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.