Today we unveil a rankings update for the Grande Sports TeamRank Top 25, the comprehensive ranking system for elite club soccer teams nationwide, taking a look at 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.
(scroll down for system details)
New MLS club and veteran climb at U16
Atlanta United FC drew players from the entire Atlanta metro area and beyond to form its academy a year before the senior team begins MLS play. The result has been a U16 Development Academy team that is 6-0 in league play just one month in, and enters our rankings at No. 6. While the defense has recorded just one shutout, the offense has been quite prolific, with 23 goals on the season, including nine from Class of 2018 forward James Brighton.
Veteran academy Real Salt Lake-AZ is also 6-0 on the season and climbs to No. 2. The most noteworthy performance so far for this team was a 1-0 win on a Luis Arriaga goal over No. 15 Sacramento Republic on September 24.
The core of last season’s U15 teams make up this new USYS 2000 birth year age group, and the make up of the new teams has caused some upheaval in the TeamRank Top 25.
CASL 00 Red was merely a semifinalist at the North Carolina USYS State Cup last year, but is clearly holding its own in the Southern Premier League, leading the league with a record of 5-0-2. CASL earned an important draw with No. 17 United Mount Pleasant USA on September 24 to help it land at No. 7.
On the west coast, Crescenta Valley SC B00 ticks up a couple to No. 21 after remaining undefeated in SCDSL and California Regional League play.
Two MLS academies are among those that climb in this age group.
Sporting Kansas City has a 4-1 record to date, its one loss coming at the hands of No. 1 FC Dallas. The addition of top 100 attacking midfielder and Akron verbal Wan Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal, who moved from St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro, has helped this team offensively, as SKC had multiple goals in all four wins.
Orlando City remains perfect at 5-0 to start the season, and climbs five spots to No. 5. Orlando City eeked out a 4-3 win over No. 7 Capital Area Railhawks – CASL and earned one of its three shutouts against No. 24 Weston FC.
Next Thursday: U16, U17, and U18 Girls
Grande Sports 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.