With that in mind, we bring you our latest review of which US and Canada hopefuls are enhancing their national-team prospects, and who is currently tumbling down the depth chart.
US national team
Tyler Adams: Though the New York Red Bulls are winless in eight (nine if you include the US Open Cup final), no one can point a finger at their Energizer Bunny. The youngster has now shown off his motor at a few positions, and this week pitched in with some offense.
A pair of terrific midweek finishes gave Adams his first two MLS goals, and he led the break to notch an assist on Saturday. Some will argue he's not quite ready for a US senior squad break-through, but he's certainly getting closer by the week.
Sean Johnson: No MLS netminder has been in such fine form over the past few months as Johnson, who tied a career best with his seventh shutout of the season last Wednesday. The ace shot-stopper, who stands fourth in the league in save percentage, has proven to be a real steal for NYCFC.
Jozy Altidore: How important is Altidore's all-around game to the Supporters’ Shield winners? Toronto FC have not lost a game he took part in since mid-April. The US striker had four goals in three games before heading to the shelf with an injury earlier this month, and then notched a fine assist (setting an MLS career high) in his weekend return to help the Reds halt a two-game slide.
Fafa Picault: At a time when Philadelphia need every goal they can get and the USMNT looks shorthanded on the wing, Picault is slumping badly. The speedster has gone 786 minutes without finding the net, a stretch of 10 appearances that has seen the Union shut out five times and settle for draw on three other occasions.
Canada national team
Richie Laryea: The Orlando City midfielder is suddenly making a play for bigger involvement next season, if not also his first senior team international call-up. Laryea (above, at right) hopped off the bench to chalk up his first MLS assist in the Lions' midweek rout of New England before enjoying his longest-ever pro appearance in Saturday's scoreless draw with FC Dallas.
Amer Didic: Though the uncapped 22-year-old center back hasn't appeared for Sporting KC since last fall's Champions League ouster to Vancouver, he may be earning his way toward a regular job at Children's Mercy Park next season.
Didic, who helped Swope Park Rangers post five straight shutouts during a summer streak, scored for the USL side in midweek before being called into his MLS owners' selection on the weekend. The Bosnia native received his first Canada call in September. Another could soon follow.
Jordan Hamilton: While both Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco sat out for three games, Hamilton was only able to earn the nod for a single 22-minute sub shift (which was his first appearance in two months). The 21-year-old hasn't scored for Toronto FC since June, when he looked like he might become a key bench player. That has not happened.