Today we unveil our latest update to Grande Sports Academy TeamRank, the comprehensive ranking system for elite club soccer teams nationwide, releasing the latest standings for U16, U17 and U18 Boys. Next week, we will update the older age groups on the Girls side. We will update our National Top 25 for each age group at least once per month.
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The top three in this age group, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, and FC Dallas, respectively, all pulled off multiple goal quarterfinal victories on their way to the Academy Championships. NYRB topped Chivas USA 4-2 with the help of a Brian Saramago hat trick; it took the Union overtime to down No. 8 New England Revolution 5-3; but FC Dallas had the easiest match up of the three, halting Beachside’s postseason run by a 6-0 score.
The nightcap of the quarters was the most thrilling of all, with Georgia United and Vancouver Whitecaps battling to a 2-2 draw through two overtime periods and on to penalties. Georgia United goalkeeper Samuel Morton had one of his many saves on the first strike, and IMG Academy Class of 2018 No. 1 Andrew Carleton buried kick number five, in addition to scoring both goals during regular time, to send the Georgia side to the finals and to No. 4 in our rankings.
Chicago Magic PSG Pre-Academy had a tough time earlier in the year in U.S. Youth Soccer National League play, finishing sixth in its division with just a single win and multiple-goal losses to No. 11 Dix Hills Elite, No. 5 Sunrise Elite, and No. 2 FC Dallas Youth Premier. The team struggled to stay in the top ten all year, but the spring post season has helped their cause. Magic lands at No. 8 after taking the Illinois State Cup crown as well as the USYS Region II Championship, beating Midwest Regional League divisional champion and fellow National League participant No. 9 Alliance Academy.
While No. 1 Real Salt Lake and No. 2 Montreal Impact performed as expected in the Development Academy quarterfinals, topping Shattuck St. Mary’s and Real So Cal, respectively, two others upset higher-ranked competition on their way to the final four.
Chicago Fire finished the regular season on a high note with wins over Crew SC Wolves and Vardar, helping them climb from third to first in the Mid-America Division just before the playoffs. Fire then recorded a 2-0-1 record in group play, advancing to the quarterfinals, before a wild 10v10 shooting match led by a Ryan Sierakowski hat trick sends them to the semis on July 16, and to No. 3 in the Grande Sports Academy TeamRank Top 25.
San Jose Earthquakes won six straight to finish the regular season and like Chicago Fire, won its group at playoffs, but not without a scare in the playoff opener against No. 33 seed Charlotte Soccer Academy. The Quakes quickly righted the ship and haven’t given up a goal in the three matches since, including a dominant 3-0 performance in the quarterfinal against No. 7 PDA to climb to No. 4.
Next Thursday: U16, U17, and U18 Girls
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.