Saturday, September 17, 2011

WestSideLax rates Top Western Club teams has been running a series that counts down the top 10 club teams in their "West of the Mississippi" geography. It's pretty good and you can read it here. They've counted down from #10 to #4 so far, in the following order:
 That leaves three to go. Who will they be?

There are a number of candidates in my opinion, including Minnesota Elite, Team America, Dallas Select, and the Alcatraz Outlaws. In addition, if one includes the single-school summer teams, I think both Cherry Creek and Fog City would make this top ten. But, let's say "Club" – by the WestSideLax definition – includes only multi-school teams. So, here we go! My #3 is Dallas Select. They made the final 4 at three different summer tournaments (Finals at Denver Team Camp, Semi-Finals at Notre Dame, and Semi-Finals at UNC), though they didn't do as well at King of the Hill. My #2 team is Team America, built around Corona Del Mar, Palos Verdes, and St. Margaret's players. Team America made it to the Sweet Sixteen at Champ Camp. Champ Camp is, in my opinion, the second most competitive summer tournament in the country. While the Brine Shootout has become the toughest summer tourney, Champ Camp still provides VERY difficult competition. My #1 Club team  West of the Mississippi – would be the Alcatraz Outlaws, who made the Finals of both tournaments they entered – King of the Hill and the Gait Cup, losing in both tournaments to Laxachusetts. Laxachusetts, in my opinion, had the best summer tournament run in the country in 2011.  So, those are my top three Club teams.

That leaves unanswered the question as to how Cherry Creek and Fog City would be ranked if they were club teams. My take is that both would rank above Dallas Select and below Team America. I'd also make one final adjustment to WestSide Lax's rankings. The Golden State Titans would rank a smidge higher than #9 in my rankings. Their performance at the Hotbeds was a major accomplishment. 

What do you think?

Thanks to WestSideLax for their excellent idea and thoughtful analysis!