Sadly, this hasn't changed from when my son played between 2000 and 2010.
He started in Bismarck where he had absolutely great coaches who were focused on player/program development...and a travel team at the end of the year that was comprised of players across the program that fed Bismarck High and Century (at the time).
We subsequently moved to St Louis where he progressed up the ladder and ended up playing for the AAA Blues. Believe it or not, STL had a SINGLE AAA program for years, out of a metro area of 2+ million. Lots of Mercedes/Yukons/LandRovers in the parking lot compa