United States international Christian Pulisic believes the future is bright for American soccer.
Borussia Dortmund winger Pulisic, 18, told The Guardian he is encouraged by the sport's progress in his nation, who reached the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup but face a fight to qualify for 2018, and is predicting that Bruce Arena's side will be a force in years to come.
"It's been big flaw of ours in the soccer department that a lot of our best athletes go and play other sports," he said. "But I think young players have seen me, and others, go over to Europe and play in some of the best leagues -- and MLS is improving so much too.
"There's so much potential and I think it's changing: we've had some bigger athletes in the past but I don't think that defines us anymore.
"We're going to keep moving forward, developing young players and we're going to have a really good shot in the next few years."
Pulisic has continued to impress for Dortmund in 2016-17, scoring three Bundesliga goals and recording six assists.
He now shares an apartment with his cousin Will, a 19-year-old goalkeeper who joined Dortmund last year, and said the pair enjoy throwing a gridiron football around "just to still feel American" during their downtime.
Asked about a possible return to MLS in the future, Pulisic said: "I'd never put that out of the question.
"Playing in your home country would be special; obviously I don't have any immediate plans to do that but it's always an option. You see so many people at the games now and it's exciting; we have a really strong soccer league we can build on."