Today we unveil our latest update to Grande 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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Real Colorado ECNL remains #1 with this update, but not without some hesitation. After taking over the top spot from Eclipse Select, last year’s ECNL runner-up suffered its first defeat at the hands of that same Eclipse Select squad. And without the strength of U.S. U17 Women’s National Team standout Mallory Pugh, who will be away at the CONCACAF Women’s U17 Championships for much of the rest of the fall, Real Colorado’s position at the top is a precarious one.
New ECNL club NC Fusion hasn’t taken long to make its mark in the Grande TeamRank Top 25, and the U16s debut at No. 25. Fusion’s Samantha Walsh made the veteran squads from North Carolina take notice in her ECNL debut, earning a hat trick in a 3-2 defeat of CASL. Since that initial outing, Andrew Butler’s squad has suffered just one loss on the season, to an FC Virginia team that is quickly climbing the Grande TeamRank standings, currently landing at No. 14.
Could GSA improve upon its 16-game, 55-goal performance from last year’s ECNL regular season? The answer to that question is an easy and resounding “Yes!” In just half that time this year, Campbell Chapman’s squad has amassed 52 goals, a perfect 8-0-0 record, and takes over the top spot in the Grande TeamRank. The prolific trio of Ella Stevens, Jennifer Westendorf, and Amanda Vocelka, has become a foursome with the addition of Sh'Sh'Nia Gordon, who moved to Georgia from Texas over the summer. Gordon, the No. 64 player in the IMG Academy 150 for the class of 2015, has already added six goals and four assists for her new team, and Chapman agrees she has been a great addition to the already prolific team.
Three of the top five remain in the Grande TeamRank Top 25, with PDA at No. 1, Sting at No. 2, and Lonestar moving up to No. 3, but the story at this age group is the continued ascent of Michigan Hawks and Real So Cal.
Conference foes are having serious trouble with the Hawks’ attack. With goals coming from every position on the field except goalkeeper (give it time, there are a few games left), the No. 4 Hawks have run away with the Great Lakes conference and should be sitting pretty for the postseason while they play their final high school seasons in the spring. Class of 2014 IMG Academy 150 players Megan Buckingham (North Carolina), Ashton Miller (Duke), Jamie Cheslik (Michigan State), and Michelle Manning (Northwestern) have all added multiple tallies to the score sheet.
Real So Cal is currently second in the ECNL Southwest conference and climbs from No. 8 to No. 5 with this update. The stingy back line of this squad has only allowed two goals in the tough Southwest Conference, but they’ll have to figure out how to get past the even stingier Alison Jahansouz when they meet SoCal Blues on October 27. Stanford commit Jahansouz has allowed just one goal in five matches this season.
Next Thursday: U13, U14, and U15 Boys
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.