Commentary

Under-17/18 Academy Rankings

Updated: May 23, 2012, 1:53 PM ET
By Sheldon Shealer | ESPNHS Senior Editor

With the staggered starts of the Development Academy teams, it made it difficult to release a top 10 until after play was well under way for a few divisions. Now that everyone is competing, it's time to examine the top 10 in each age group.

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.

The LA Galaxy kick off the rankings as the No. 1 under-17/18 squad with FC Dallas a close second. Had it not been for a weekend loss by FC Dallas, this Texas power could have made a strong case for the top ranking. Instead, LA Galaxy has been more constant recently, which earned them the nod.

2011-12 US Soccer Development Academy Power Rankings: Under-17/18
RANKTEAM / RECORD TRENDINGCOMMENTS
1
LA Galaxy
13-1-3
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Last Week: NR
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
2
FC Dallas
18-2-3
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Last Week: NR
FC Dallas' undefeated run ended at eight matches last weekend, but with a comfortable lead in the Texas Division, this team is poised for a run at the national championship.
Next Match: March 24 vs. Lonestar SC
3
Sockers FC
4-0-3
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Last Week: NR
The Sockers FC are barely into its season right now, but the seven-match undefeated run includes pinning the only defeat on the Minnesota Thunder Academy so far this season.
Next Match: March 25 vs. FC Milwaukee
4
FC DELCO
5-1-3
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Last Week: NR
FC DELCO has rolled off an eight-match undefeated run since a season-opening loss. Darius Madison and Brett Campbell have scored a team-high four goals apiece.
Next Match: March 24 at Albertson SC
5
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Last Week: NR
Despite scoring 11 goals in seven matches, Shattuck-St. Mary's has managed to be one goal better than the opposition in most cases. The team's only loss was to FC DELCO.
Next Match: March 31 at Minnesota Thunder
6
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Last Week: NR
Jake Freeman's seven goals in eight matches have carried Albertson SC to a frontrunner's position in the Liberty Division. This week, the team clashes with FC DELCO.
Next Match: March 24 vs. FC DELCO
7
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Last Week: NR
The Colorado Rapids, along with Sockers FC, are the last two remaining undefeated teams in the Under-17/18 Academy. Dillon Serna leads the offense with four goals this season.
Next Match: March 24 vs. Real Colorado
8
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Last Week: NR
CASL Chelsea is 8-1-1 in its last 10 matches, and the team is quickly climbing the Atlantic Division standings. Fernando Castellanos leads the team with five goals scored.
Next Match: March 24 vs. North Carolina Fusion
9
--

Last Week: NR
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
10
Chivas USA
12-4-3
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Last Week: NR
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