Today we unveil our latest update to Grande Sports Academy TeamRank, the comprehensive ranking system for elite club soccer teams nationwide, and we release the latest standings for U16, U17 and U18 Girls. Next week, we will update the younger age groups on the Boys side. We will update our National Top 25 of each age group at least once per month.
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Orlando City FC climbs seven spots to No. 12 after clinching the ECNL’s Southeast Conference with two matches yet to be played. Coach Alan Hough’s squad hasn’t loss yet, and has conceded just five goals so far, but this team’s season isn’t near over, as three ECNL showcases are on the docket for the spring.
While Orlando City’s conference season winds down, Connecticut FC’s ramps up. Coming off high school soccer, CFC has started the season a perfect 3-0 against conference foes, and boasts three players in the IMG Academy 150. Lafayette verbal commit Clare Mengel (No. 53), Villanova verbal commit Mia Ciardiello (No. 108), as well as leading scorer and Yale recruit Ciara Ostrander (No. 113), who already has four goals and three assists, have led CFC to No. 10 in the Grande Sports Academy TeamRank Top 25.
ECNL newbie FC Portland remains undefeated in its first five matches in the nation’s top league, and debuts at No. 25. Led by U.S. U20 Women’s National Team camp attendee Lucy Davidson, an outside defender/midfielder ranked No. 69 in the IMG Academy 150 for the Class of 2016 and verbally committed to Portland, FC Portland earned a draw and two wins in Phoenix, then a win and a draw in its first conference action.
Also entering the rankings this month is Carolina Elite SA from Greenville, SC, at No. 24. This CESA squad spent much of last season in the rankings, but had a tough month of September where it secured just a single notch in the win column. Nevertheless, CESA has finished strong and is poised to close the conference season in the third spot behind No. 2 Concorde Fire and No. 20 Orlando City.
Two teams in the ECNL make statements as the fall season comes to a close.
Atlanta’s powerhouse at this age group, GSA, rebounded from a couple of early season losses, has won nine straight on its way to the top spot in the Southeast Conference, and climbs from No. 14 to No. 7 in the Grande Sports Academy TeamRank Top 25. Two Class of 2016 standouts are the key to GSA’s success: forward Jennifer Westendorf, a Notre Dame recruit and No. 6 in the IMG Academy Top 150, leads the offense and the league with 29 goals, and center back Emma Carlson, who has made her verbal to Duke and sits at No. 49, anchors a defense that hasn’t conceded a goal since October 11.
While GSA is nearing the end of its final ECNL season, Ohio Elite SA is just getting started, but with four shutouts already under its belt, Ohio Elite has the makings of a great final season and debuts at No. 16. Those shutouts are at least in part due to the efforts of goalkeeper Samantha Leshnak, a U20 Women’s National Team member, North Carolina recruit, and No. 26 in the IMG Acaedmy 150 for the Class of 2015.
Next Thursday: U13, U14, and U15 Boys
Grande Sports Academy TeamRank 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.