My rant response would be: the fed does identify prospects, for youth teams, for developmental teams, etc. The 1989-1995 generation that vanished into the ether needed to be identified circa 1997-2005. Whether you believe it's because the players weren't there (total b.s., we are not a tiny nation prone to golden generations, we are a huge nation slowly developing the sport, and the exact moment when this gap happened is when we should've seen the most improvement ever), or because the fed was incompetent at identifying them (my hand immediately would shoot up here) and developing them (my hand would shoot up again), the problem was every bit as much about the fed as it was about clubs, since we didn't even have clubs w/developmental teams set up, that was still a LONG ways away in any meaningful context. The Fed also deserves blame not only for identifying guys, but for totally botching the aspects of player development they had a hand in w/the youth development teams from 2007-2013ish as well. That is a black hole in terms of Youth National Team performance that pales even in comparison to the late 1980's when soccer in this country was essentially the Chicxulub crater. So yeah. I do blame the fed. If the fed and coaches deserve praise for 1994 and 2002, and to a lesser extent for 2009-2010, and they do, then they also have to eat an s sandwich for totally botching the 1989-1995 generation of prospects. You get the goodies when you win, and the pitchfork when you lose. It's how it works. FTR, I'm sure I'm missing things here, and maybe a lot, but I do think the fed deserves a ton of blame. At this point, mistakes being made belong with the FED and MLS, but back then (1997-2005ish), the fed had its hands far more dirty w/regards to youth player development, than the clubs did.