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Thursday, March 29, 2012
Updated: May 23, 1:53 PM ET
Under-17/18 Academy Rankings

By Sheldon Shealer
ESPNHS Senior Editor

Consistency in securing results is the name of the game when it comes to qualifying for playoff positions.

Right now, No. 3 Sockers and No. 4 Colorado Rapids are earning those points and stand as the last remaining undefeated teams -- although both have plenty of season yet to play.

While there was not a single new team in this week's top 10, the Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 spots were re-ordered following last week's results. Losses by FC Delco and Albertson allowed the Rapids to move to fourth, while CASL moved up despite having its contest postponed. CASL's move was tied largely to the fact other top 10 teams lost.

Throughout the rest of the season, ESPNHS will offer a weekly glance at the top 10 teams in each age group.

It should be noted, these rankings are not predictive, but rather reactive to the results. In other words, the higher ranked team has accomplished something on the field to earn that position for now. As such, we expect quite a bit of turnover in the top 10 -- especially the bottom three to five spots -- throughout the rest of the Development Academy season.

2011-12 US Soccer Development Academy Power Rankings: Under-17/18
LA Galaxy

Last Week: 1
Drew Murphy upped his team-lead to six goals with a two-goal outing last week in LA Galaxy's 4-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes. LA is riding a five-match undefeated run.
Next Match: March 31 at Arsenal FC
FC Dallas

Last Week: 2
Five players scored as FC Dallas handled Lonestar SC 5-0. The match was competitive until FC Dallas started a four-goal outburst starting in the 65th minute.
Next Match: April 15 vs. Texans SC Houston
Sockers FC

Last Week: 3
John Pothast scored twice as Sockers continued their undefeated start by overwhelming FC Milwaukee 7-1. A match with league rival Columbus Crew is the next challenge.
Next Match: March 31 vs. Crew Soccer Academy
Colorado Rapids
Last Week: 7
Idrissa Camara scored the lone goal in the Colorado Rapids' 1-0 win over Real Colorado, leaving the Rapids as one of only two remaining undefeated teams this season.
Next Match: March 31 vs. Sporting Kansas City
CASL Chelsea
Last Week: 8
CASL Chelsea's match last week was postponed, but the team moved up in the rankings as other squads lost. CASL is off for two weeks before returning to action.
Next Match: April 14 at IMG Academy
Albertson SC

Last Week: 6
Albertson started its weekend clash with Pennsylvania programs by defeating FC Delco. However, the team lost to PA Classics, which has had an up-and-down run this season.
Next Match: March 31 vs. Greater Boston
Last Week: 4
FC Delco bounced back from a loss to Albertson with a 4-1 victory over FC Westchester. However, the loss forced the team down in the rankings this week.
Next Match: April 14 vs. Greater Boston
Shattuck-St. Mary's
Last Week: 5
Shattuck's slide in this week's rankings is tied to the fact its loss is to FC Delco, which lost to Albertson last week. That combination of results means the Minnesota team has to move down.
Next Match: March 31 at Minnesota Thunder
Minnesota Thunder

Last Week: 9
Might seem odd to have two Minnesota teams among the top 10, but the results so far have been favorable for both teams. MTA's lone setback is to No. 3 Sockers FC.
Next Match: March 31 vs. Shattuck-St. Mary's
Chivas USA

Last Week: 10
Despite a recent loss, Chivas USA remains in first place on points in the SoCal Division. Jose Dheming leads the team with six goals.
Next Match: March 31 vs. Real Salt Lake-AZ