The Grande Sports TeamRank Top 25, the comprehensive ranking system for elite club soccer teams nationwide, continues May updates this week with the U16, U17, and U18 girls club soccer teams. We will update our National Top 25 for each age group at least once per month.
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The U18 age group in the ECNL contains an added level of drama with only 16 teams making the playoffs. The smaller pool of teams makes the race to the finish more meaningful and puts added pressure on the games over the last few months of the season. During April, a number of teams in the playoff picture dropped out of the race following a couple of losses. The negative spell of results had five teams drop out of the Grande Sports Academy TeamRank Top 25 for the U18 girls for the May update.
Michigan Hawks and PDA remain the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the TeamRank Top 25 respectively. Hawks have won seven games in a row while PDA have won six in a row. The latter is likely to enter the ECNL Champions League playoffs as the No. 1 seed.
West Coast FC jumps up to No. 3 in the updated ranking. The Southern California team is getting hot at the right time with a four game winning streak entering the last final weeks of the season. West Coast has been one of the teams to beat in this age group in the past and looks to be filling that role again this season.
One of the teams to watch in May is Minnesota Thunder Academy. Thunder lost a pair of games to Hawks at the end of April, but has a chance at claiming a playoff spot with a couple of positive results against Eclipse Select later this month. The Illinois club has been dormant since December, which should help Thunder snag some points and grad a playoff spot. Looks for Adrienne Richardson and Meredith Haakenson to be in the spotlight for Thunder during the final games of the season.
For a number of ECNL teams in the U17 age group, the regular season is already over. The teams are left waiting for the postseason next month while other teams still have the ECNL National Event in New Jersey at the end of May, which means quite a few more games on the schedule for those squads.
The action in April did not do much to shake up the teams among the top five. Real Colorado, Slammers, and Solar Chelsea SC continue to lead the way in this age group in the Grande Sports Academy TeamRank Top 25.
PDA and Sporting Blue Valley SC jump up to No. 4 and No. 5 respectively in the rankings for the May update. Sporting Blue Valley SC finished the regulars season undefeated and will enter the Champions League playoffs as the No. 1 seed.
CASL makes a big jump up the rankings this month, as the North Carolina squad has won five games in a row including a great result against Ohio Premier last month. CASL looks to be one of the teams to watch during the final weeks of the regular season.
Penn Fusion is the new team in the rankings this month. Fusion is 5-2-2 in 2017 and looks ready for the final stretch of the season with games every weekend for the next month.
So Cal Blues should cross the 100 goals scored mark this weekend. The Blues team has been unstoppable during the 2016-2017 season. There’s rarely been a moment when the Southern California team looked vulnerable on the campaign, or rarely a game where the group looked content with the outcome. The battle for daily progress is evident with Blues, which has made it so difficult on other teams to try to catch the squad. Blues is the No. 1 team in the Grande Sports Academy TeamRank Top 25 for U16 for May.
McLean Youth Soccer remains in the second spot after rattling off five wins in a row recently. FC Stars of Massachusetts jumps up to No. 3 while FC Dallas slots in at No. 4 in the May update. FC Dallas knocked off Dallas Sting 0-1 last week in a huge clash in Texas.
West Coast FC is the only team that has been close to So Cal Blues this season. West Coast dropped a 1-2 result to Blues last week. West Coast FC moves up to No. 7 in this month’s TeamRank Top 25.
Boston Breakers and MVLA both jumped up the rankings this month as well. Breakers went 5-0 over their last five games while MVLA has won four games in a row.
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.