Youth Soccer News: Surf SC’s Colin Chesters on Top Drawer’s Recently Released Rankings Of Girls U16, U17 and U18 Youth Soccer Teams
Colin Chesters, Director of Coaching at San Diego Surf SC, on the new team rankings from Top Drawer as compared to the Got Soccer youth soccer rankings – and on Surf SC’s newly released standings.
Top Drawer Soccer unveiled the latest Grande Sports Academy TeamRank, a new ranking system of soccer teams nationwide. This ranking competes with and is often at odds with GotSoccer Rankings of National, Regional and State team standings.
The recent Top Drawer rankings provided the standings for U16, U17 and U18 Girls youth soccer teams and San Diego Surf Soccer Club‘s Girls team are highly ranked. Defending ECNL National Champions, Surf SC U16 are ranked #1 in the country and both Surf SC U17 and Surf SC U18 squads are ranked 3rd.
Colin Chesters, San Diego Surf SC’s Director of Coaching was pleased with how his teams’ rankings and said, “The girls at Surf SC more than deserve the recent rankings nationwide by Top Drawer. Unlike other rankings systems, which rank teams on how many tournaments they have recently attended, Top Drawer’s Grande Sports Academy TeamRank evaluates teams based upon a combination of performance metrics including how the team performs in elite league play against the nations best teams and clubs from all over the country, how many players the club gets into college, and how many national team players the club is developing.”
Currently Surf SC has over a dozen players on the National Team’s radar and twenty more attending So Cal ID camps. “We have a ton of talent right now in the ECNL program,” said Chesters. “I’m in constant communication with the National Team coaches in regards to what the players need to work on individually to break through or sustain their prominent position within the US Soccer program.”
“In the five game series, our oldest Surf SC girl’s teams kicked off the 2014 soccer season with an impressive 3 wins, a tie and a loss against rival So Cal Blues,” said Chesters who believes So Cal Blues are strong competition.
“Historically, both Surf SC and So Cal Blues are rated amongst the Nation’s top girls clubs. Traditionally, these two elite youth soccer clubs field strong girls teams, which compete across the board for national championships and honors. Both clubs have successfully developed numerous national team players and hundreds of top-level college players,” said Chesters. “Defeating the Blues three times out of five is a clear indication that our ECNL teams are going to be force to be reckoned with this season.”
How is the club working to increase these players ability to perform well on the field and find success at the National Team level? Chesters says he has increased the practice for the elite teams to four days a week and holds a special, exclusive weekly training session for the elite players. “It’s a great group of girls to work with. The players are all eager to keep improving and all are highly self-motivated.”
How does Chesters feel the new rankings compare with GotSoccer’s ranking system? Chesters said, “I would love to see side-by-side rankings from Top Drawer and GotSoccer.”
“GotSoccer’s ranking system might be the best way of doing things prior to the ECNL and Academy age groups kicking off but standings based primarily on tournament play cannot provide a clear assessment of older teams,” continued Chesters. “Surely team standings shouldn’t be geared to the teams that play and win the most tournaments. We stopped a long time ago encouraging our teams participating in a large number of tournaments, even though there is pressure from parents to enter more tournaments to increase their GotSoccer rankings.”
“In my opinion, Top Drawer has it right. Teams should be ranked on the overall picture of their performance and not just their tournament successes. Especially now, as the top teams in the country do not participate in most tournaments anymore. The top boys teams are in the US Development Academy and are restricted from playing in tournaments and ECNL clubs barely participate either anymore,” said Chesters.
The Top Drawer youth soccer rankings are updated monthly and – like GotSoccer’s – are primarily results-based but judge a different set of criteria. The Grande Sports Academy (GSA) TeamRank incorporates results from high-level league and championship competitions. Tournaments are also included but at a reduced value due to the many mitigating factors involving such events, including the fact that many elite teams cannot play in many tournaments as well as the artificial impact and guest players may have in a team’s performance.
GotSoccer’s rankings which are entirely calculated by earning a series of points based upon performance. And, while GotSoccer does rank the majority of youth soccer tournaments, if a team wins a tournament which is not ranked by the organization, no points are awarded to the team’s Got Soccer standing. GotSoccer also includes performance standings in a variety of youth soccer leagues in their ranking matrix.
GSA TeamRankings have a final layer of executive evaluation to take into consideration the variables that often impact results.