Today we unveil the initial 2016-17 rankings for the Grande Sports TeamRank Top 25, the comprehensive ranking system for elite club soccer teams nationwide. And we take a closer 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)
FC Dallas is becoming a virtual dynasty in the Development Academy, having finished the 2015-16 season with both national championships and a final TeamRank standing at the top in the U14 age group. No reason to think the dynasty won’t continue, but there are teams in each group that could make runs of their own.
Sacramento Republic picked up two wins to start the season to debut at No. 24. Four players have already added goals: Nicholas Hategan, Ryan Hulbert, Quincy Butler, and Oscar Govea.
Birth year age groups and a USYS National League expansion will make for an interesting year in non-Development Academy competition.
While the 2016 U15 national champion McLean Hotspur gets our vote to debut at No. 1 in the new age group, West Coast FC Armour has already shown that it is a force to be reckoned with and lands at No. 4. WCFC won Surf Cup in August over Mexico’s Club Tijuana and is a leader in the early stages of the California Regional League.
Another team on the expanded National League list, Braddock Road YC 00 Elite, took home the OBGC Capital Cup Labor Day tournament trophy, beating 2016 National League participant Arlington SA in the final. The tournament win lands BRYC at No. 25 before the start of league play and Virginia fall state cup competition.
The only competition of note at this age group in week 1 was the No. 2 versus No. 3 match up of Real Salt Lake AZ and Vancouver Whitecaps. RSL finished the weekend at 2-0 to land at No. 2, up four spots from its season ending No. 6 ranking. Vancouver earned a win over Sacramento Republic to go 1-1 on the weekend and land at No. 3.
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.