IMG Academy Rankings Spotlight: 2026 Boys

IMG Academy Rankings Spotlight: 2026 Boys
by Travis Clark
July 9, 2024
Players featured in this article:
MF | Seattle Sounders
F | Weston FC
D | FC Delco
F | Chicago Fire
Ian James |  2026
D | Sporting Kansas City

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The summer updates to the Club Soccer Player Rankings, presented by IMG Academy, have continued over the past month.

It was a big stretch for the class of 2026, with several players standing out at competition around the country.

Here’s a look at five to know from the 2026 Boys Rankings.

Vitaliy Hlyut, Chicago Fire – No. 31

It was nice to see Hlyut rewarded with a national team call up earlier this year. He’s a very talented forward that thrives in the half space and can run in behind. While he is a highly decorated and talented player (named as an MLS NEXT All-Star) his physical profile is the only question at this point. If he continues to grow and is able to make a mark against grown men, his future as a pro could be bright.

Kelvin-Luis Brito, Seattle Sounders FC – No. 51

Even though the Sounders U17 team has been more miss than hit this season, Brito’s established himself as a top 08 talent in the country. Formerly part of the Crossfire Premier 08 team, it would be something else to imagine him chipping passing and finding the players on that team with his ability on the ball. The question, like for many other players here, is whether he is physically equipped to be an MLS prospect. The soccer side is there, but he’ll need to continue to show that he can play at a high level of physical intensity.

Ian James, Sporting KC – No. 68

The center back is among the biggest risers on the rankings this update, as he’s enjoyed a breakout season. Capping that off by leading SKC to the MLS NEXT Cup quarterfinals, Young is equipped with the athleticism and on-ball ability to be a high-level prospect for an MLS Academy player. Along with a pair of Under-16 national team call-ups this year, he joins Hlyut on the All-Star team.

Mateo Garcia Piekut, Weston FC – No. 128

College coaches were buzzing about Piekut in Tennessee, as he helped lead the attacking line for the Weston FC Under-17s. He’s a dynamic forward that could end up moving to join Inter Miami, as he’s long been on their radar. Able to stretch the field as well as come into and combine, the addition of Under-18 teams is likely to lead the forward to making the move to the MLS side.

Grant Gilmore, FC Delco – No. 183

Part of the MLS NEXT Cup-winning side in the Under-16 age group, Gilmore was peerless in his performances in Tennessee. He can dominate the club level, and was hard to beat in the air by the teams Delco went up against. Michael Capretto’s goals and the team dynamic was critical to the team’s success, but Gilmore’s play at the back was a huge part of the team’s title triumph.

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