The IMG Academy Top 150 rankings update for girls in the 2019 graduating class is out today, and U.S. U17 Women’s National Team member Kennedy Wesley is the new No. 1. The So Cal Blues defender was outstanding at the CONCACAF U17 Women’s Championship, earning a spot on the Best XI team for the tournament. Slammers defender Kate Wiesner also earned a starting spot at the tournament, slotting in at No. 3.
FC Dallas midfielder Hollyn Torres and San Diego Surf midfielder Madison Mercado are two more players in the top 20 making moves with this update. Both were standouts for the U15 GNT in a recent scrimmage. Torres is the second leading scorer for her FC Dallas U14 side, while Mercado helped her Cal-South ODP team to a Region IV Championship run in January.
There were more than a few players outside of the top 20 that have improved their position with this update, as well as some that debut throughout the list. Among the rising stars are San Diego Surf defender Sydney Sparks, Charlotte Soccer Academy goalkeeper Ruth Jones, Solar defender Serena Eboh, Concorde Fire midfielder Giselle Washington, and Texas Rush forward Colleen Feagins.
Sparks is a defender for Surf’s U15 ECNL team that is undefeated in ECNL play and has given up just six goals in 13 matches. She was named to the TopDrawerSoccer Best XI for her performance at the 2016 ODP Championships as part of the 2000 Cal-South ODP team that didn’t concede a goal on its way to a national championship crown.
Jones makes her first appearance on our list after earning a spot in the TopDrawerSoccer second XI for her play at the ECNL Sanford Showcase in December. US Soccer took notice as well, inviting her to participate in the most recent U15 GNT camp.
Eboh is a defender on Solar’s U15 ECNL team which has conceded just two goals in conference play this season. She is a TDS Unsigned Showcase alumna, where she earned a spot on the Dallas Showcase Best XI in November.
Washington is a midfielder on the top team in the U15 ECNL Southeast Conference. She just wrapped up play with the Jamaican U17 Women’s National Team for the CONCACAF Championships, where she played every minute of every match.
Feagins is the leading scorer for the Rush’s U15 ECNL team with nine goals in 21 matches and has competed with Rush select teams on several occasions.
In addition to the IMG Academy 150 update, we will unveil the regional rankings throughout the week. Some of the players on our list include Crossfire Premier outside back Rose Young, Davis Legacy midfielder Maya Doms, Tennessee SC Defender Harper White, Jacksonville SC midfielder/defender Sydney Hauth, St. Louis Scott Gallagher-IL forward Blake Clark, and many, many more.
Keep checking back throughout the week to see who else made the lists.
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 herex