Grande Sports Academy TeamRank Top 25

Grande Sports Academy TeamRank Top 25
by Caroline Yort
July 31, 2014

Today we unveil our final 2013-14 season update to the Grande Sports Academy TeamRank Top 25, the comprehensive ranking system for elite club soccer teams nationwide. We have updated the standings each month during the season, and will begin tracking the 2013-14 teams in September.

(scroll down for system details)

Boys Spread the Wealth in NY/NJ

In the U15, U17 and U18 age groups, teams from the megalopolis ended the season at No. 1, and for the first time in what seems like forever, none of them had the name New York Red Bull as part of the moniker. BW Gottschee 98 of New York took control of the Northeast Pre-Academy League in April and never looked back, finishing the season with a single loss (to New York Red Bull last fall), and taking the NPL national championship crown in July. At U17, Manhattan SC PSG took the US Youth Soccer national title, while at U18, PDA of New Jersey came home with the US Soccer Development Academy hardware, stealing victory from top seed Bethesda-Olney.

California takes the top spot in the U14 and U16 age groups, with Development Academy finishes for Real So Cal at U14 and LA Galaxy at U16, but the darling of the postseason has to be WAZA FC East 01 Juniors.

WAZA’s incredible run began back in December when they won the Super Y National Finals in Bradenton, FL. Then in the spring, after winning the Erie West Division of the Midwest Development League as well as the Michigan Youth Soccer state cup, the team had a decision to make. The MDL league playoffs and the USYS Region II championships occurred simultaneously in June, but Gronthik Chatterjee and his team chose to go the USYS route, and chose well they did. WAZA did not concede a goal throughout regionals or the national tournament, taking the USYS title with a 2-0 score over FC Golden State PDA 01. Forward Issa Rayyan will be one to watch, his speedy runs nearly impossible for defenses to contain, earning him Golden Ball honors in his age group. The outstanding goalkeeping of WAZA’s Francesco Calvaruso earned the Golden Glove, as he was the only goalkeeper on the entire boys side to earn a shutout in every match.

Field of Firsts on the Girls side

At U14, New England FC Elite may not have finished the season as the No. 1 pick in the Grande Sports Academy TeamRank Top 25, but the team from Massachusetts certainly wins the vote for the busiest July. NEFC had a dilemma similar to the WAZA boys mentioned above, but there was some down time between tournaments, so the Boston based team decided they could go for it all. NEFC went on to win the NPL finals and two weeks later took the US Youth Soccer national title, thanks in part to the goal scoring efforts of IMG Academy No. 50 Mary Kate McGuire, earning them the No. 7 spot to finish the season.

MORE: Sting, Surf, Eclipse capture ECNL titles | IMG Academy 150 Rankings

Three No. 1s earned ECNL national titles this year and some pretty impressive stats to go along with the hardware. Eclipse Select U16 earned back-to-back national titles, and both years came frighteningly close to missing the final weekend altogether. Eclipse won its group at playoffs each time on a tiebreaker, and while they sailed through the finals last year, injuries to some key players made the road a little tougher this time around, but the outcome was the same. Dallas Sting U17 and PDA U18 both finished their ECNL seasons as the undefeated champion, a rare feat in such a star-studded league.

Beach FC Ingrassia finished 2013-14 as the USYS national champion and at No. 7 in our standings. Beach’s start to the season wasn’t perfect by any means, but the ending sure was. Coach Maurice Ingrassia’s squad finished with a perfect record in USYS National League play followed by a national title in which they didn’t concede a single goal. The impenetrable defense was led by Golden Glove award winner Nonie Frishette, who is verbally committed to Wake Forest for the Class of 2015.

Coming in September: Initial standings for the 2014-15 season

Grande Sports Academy TeamRank Top 25 is the comprehensive team-ranking system devised by TopDrawerSoccer.com to provide an objective and common-sense approach to determining which elite youth soccer teams are the best in the nation.

The rankings, updated monthly, are primarily results-based, with a nod toward the league and championship competitions that emulate how excellence is determined in leading soccer nations around the world.

Tournaments are also included but at a reduced value due to the many mitigating factors involving such events, including attrition and guest players.

A final layer of executive evaluation is provided to account for variables that often impact results, thus ensuring that the monthly lists are not subjective, but are not purely mechanical.

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