IMHO and speaking from an outside perspective of course, the number one priority has to be to develop this aspect, and the “culture” of the game. So as to first and foremost have a better overall understanding around the game. But similarly to be able compete with a highly charged, overcrowded market in terms of potential sports(/activities) to choose from.
All this notwithstanding and truth be told, the current situation is not as bad (or at least dramatic) as has been made out. As I’ve said a few times in the past, realistically speaking you have to afford at least around 5 years for the “green-sprouts” of structural youth work to begin to show.
Klinsman taking the joint role of both manager, and more importantly technical director (what he is undoubtedly better at for me) only came about in 2013. Not to mention the aforementioned advent of academies across the league at under-14, under-16 and under-18 level only fully came into play in the same year as well. Therefore personally I’d believe that from 2018/19 onward we will start to see the effects of this more clearly.
(Not for nothing there’s at least been a marked improvement from the poor 2009, 2011 and 2013 youth sides, to the more recent 2015 and 2017 generations.)
However, that being said, if not enough is done to establish an identity (from top to bottom TBF) IE: at grassroots level, sifting through into the media and so and so forth. Then there will invariably be a huge risk of stagnation, which of course affords competing nations a notable advantage.
Ergo the priority for me is (even over and above a new coach!) a new technical director and accompanying “joined-up-thinking” strategy for a minimum 5 year cycle, that accounts for the relevant, unique nuances that the US presents in a sporting context.”