The IMG Academy Top 150 rankings update for girls in the 2019 graduating class is out today, and Kennedy Wesley and Kate Wiesner, two of the younger players on the U17 Women’s National Team World Cup squad, remain Nos. 1 and 2, respectively.
Several players competing for younger youth national teams made an impact on the top 20 in the last several months. San Diego Surf midfielder Mia Fishel earned the Golden Boot at the U15 CONCACAF Championships in August, and the UCLA recruit climbs into the top five as a result. Climbing into the top 20 is FC Stars forward Payton Linnehan, who earned the Golden Boot for the U15 GNT, and was one of three players to finish the tournament with eight goals. PDA forward Leah Scarpelli continues her climb, nearing the top ten, as the Penn State recruit keeps excelling at the U16 GNT level.
More than a few others move up the ranks based on recent play in national or regional leagues and select teams. Some of these include Charlotte SA goalkeeper Ruthie Jones, FC Virginia midfielder Holly Weber, San Diego Surf center mid Amber McCorkle, and Birmingham United midfielder/forward Kylie Bechard. Jones earned the starting spot in goal at the U15 CONCACAF championships, taking home the Golden Glove for her seven shutout performance. Weber and McCorkle have excelled in midfield for their club teams, both of them at the U17 level. Bechard has 22 goals and seven assists for the BUSA U16 ECNL team, the Auburn recruit helping her team to a current fifth place in the Southeast conference standings.
A few players new to the rankings include Connecticut FC goalkeeper Allie Augur, Davis Legacy midfielder Maya Doms, Indiana Fire forward Abigail Isger, and Sporting Blue Valley defender Gracely Briley. Doms, a Stanford recruit, earned her second call up with the U15 GNT in October. Augur, a Boston College recruit, is slated to be among the top goalkeepers in the ECNL U116 Northeast Conference when play begins next month. As a member of FC Pride last season, Isger was named to the best xi by US Youth Soccer at the USYS National Championships. She finished the tournament as the second leading scorer. Briley, a Kansas recruit, has helped her SBV U17s to an 11-1-1 record with six shutouts to date.
In addition to the IMG Academy 150 update, we will unveil the regional rankings over the next couple of weeks. Some of the additions include Michigan Jaguars forward Danielle Wolfe, Cincinnati United Premier defender and Missouri verbal Megan Oduyoye, FC Frederick midfielder Isabelle Eskay, Seattle Reign goalkeeper Annika Vadset, Sereno SC defender Ellie Neal, and many more.
Keep checking back throughout the next couple of weeks 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 here.