The IMG Academy Top 150 rankings update for girls in the 2020 graduating class is out today, and the top two players remain unchanged. No. 1 Jordan Caniff and No. 2 Lia Godfrey were the only players in this class to make the roster for the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup. Caniff earned a start against Japan at the tournament, and when at her home club, plays up two age groups on the Richmond United U17s. Godfrey earned her first call up with the U17s at the July camp in Raleigh, and quickly made an impression, landing a spot on the final World Cup roster just a month later.
Players climbing outside of the top ten include Concorde Fire forward Astrid Wheeler, Michigan Hawks forward Joyelle Washington, Charlotte Soccer Academy goalkeeper Kaylin Slattery, and Crossfire Premier midfielder Zoe Burns.
Wheeler was a standout at the ECNL Phoenix showcase, earning a spot on the TDS daily best list for the event. She was also a standout at October’s U15 GNT camp, as just one of five players from this class in attendance.
The pacey, hard-working Washington was a menace for opposing defenders at the ODP Interregional for the 2002 age group over Thanksgiving. She scored twice at the event, helping her Region II team outscore its opponents 9-2 and finish a perfect 3-0.
Slattery is a standout keeper on Charlotte’s U16 ECNL team, responsible for seven shutouts this season along with Class of 2019 teammate Stephanie Stull.
Burns was another standout at the ODP Interregional, and will look to command the midfield for a strong Crossfire U15 ECNL team once league play begins on December 18.
Some new to the list include So Cal Blues forward/midfielder Trinity Rodman, Fullerton Rangers center mid Zoe Ip, Sporting Blue Valley defensive mid Felicia Knox, and Orlando City midfielder Karina Groff. Rodman has been a part of the last two U14 GNT camps and has helped her So Cal Blues U15s to a perfect 10-0-0 record and a No. 1 ranking. A member of the Rangers USYS 2002 National League team, Ip, primarily a center mid or forward, can play virtually anywhere on the field, and has been employed at both outside back positions. Knox plays on SBV’s No. 13 ranked U17 ECNL team and has helped them to a 15-2-1 record in ECNL play, while Groff plays for Orlando City’s U15s.
In addition to the IMG Academy 150 update, we will unveil the regional rankings throughout the week. Some of the players on our initial list include Slammers forward Rachel Rosen, Michigan Hawks defender Adriana Stranges, Western NY Flash forward/midfielder Molly McClelland, HMMS Eagle FC defender/forward Jenna Skurcenski, Birmingham United center back Sanyia Jackson and many, 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.