(Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Lace up your cleats. Stretch out your hamstrings. High school spring soccer has begun in 16 states across the United States (some states play in the fall and the winter), from the Mid-Atlantic to the West Coast and in between.

JWS Next is going to provide in-depth coverage all season long, just like we have for basketball. You can expect comprehensive national rankings, Player of the Week awards and in-depth reporting that brings you beyond the pitch and into the minds of some of the best players in the nation.

We also won’t shy away from covering the more unsavory aspects of the sport. In fact, we’ve already started. Earlier this week, we reported on the messy fallout stemming from a racist incident at a winter soccer championship in Northern California.

One thing to remember: The spring sports’ schedule is a little funky, and in states like Georgia and Alabama, spring soccer started in January and February. So while we’ll being paying attention to those teams, we won’t be considering them for our rankings.

The NWSL is a league on the rise, and we want to help introduce fans to some of the future faces of the league. Who’ll be the next Megan Rapinoe? Alex Morgan? Rose Lavelle? JWS Next is here to help you find out.

Three teams to watch

South County – Lortan, Va. (2-0)

Coming off the best season in program history, in which the Stallions scored 60 goals, went undefeated and won the Class 6 state championship, South County appears primed for even more success in 2020. Led by forward Jadyn Curry, a Dartmouth signee, South County has already rolled to a 2-0 record.

Broomfield – Broomfield, Colo. (2-0)

The defending 5A state champions have kicked off their season in style, outscoring their two opponents by a combined score of 11-0. And they’ve done it with a diversity of weapons: Senior Maddie Brady was the hero in the first game, scoring two goals with an assist. Brady was held scoreless in the second game, but the Eagles received scoring from five players – including two goals from freshman Victoria Choren.

St. Dominic – O’Fallon, Mo. (5-0)

The Crusaders’ winning streak is now up to 36 games, dating back to May 14, 2019. Senior forward Grace Bindbeutel, an Oklahoma State signee, leads the way for the two-time defending state champions.

Three players to watch

F Daniela Mejia – Harvest Prep (Yuma, Az.), Freshman

Mejia has been a revelation as a first-year player in Arizona. Three games into her high school career, the forward has scored six goals and recorded an assist for 13 total points. And she’s already proven to be a winner: The Eagle are undefeated.

D Sydney Cheesman – Centaurus (Lafayette, Colo.), Senior

The UNC commit anchors the defense for a Warriors team that’s won its first three games to start the season. The 5–foot-5 Cheesman was also named to the U-20 U.S. Women’s Youth National Team training camp roster.

M Sarah Foley – Belleville West (Belleville, Ill.), Senior

The Maroons are off to a difficult 2-2-1 start, but Foley has been nothing short of brilliant: The 5-foot-7 senior has scored three goals and recorded four assists. Foley will continue her career next season at Illinois.

Josh Needelman is the High School Sports Editor at Just Women’s Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JoshNeedelman.