Raheem Edwards - Toronto FC - Close up

Between the CONCACAF Gold Cup, FIFA World Cup qualifiers and other international friendlies, both the US and Canada men's national teams will see plenty of action in 2017.


And every MLS match is a chance for current national team stars to establish themselves and for other new faces to emerge, sliding up or down the pecking order for US head coach Bruce Arena or Canada's Octavio Zambrano based on how they play.


We're here to keep track of whose stock is rising and whose is falling after Week 17:


US national team


UP⬆️

Stock Up, Stock Down: USA's Ike Opara, Canada's Raheem Edwards on the rise - https://league-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/images/Ike%20Opara%20celebrates.jpg?BghQMpv6VRNdAuCtILs8JrcMAVXOesw_

Ike Opara – With each passing week, the Sporting Kansas City defender only raises more questions about why he was left off the Gold Cup pool roster. This past weekend, Opara continued to marshal the league's stingiest defense (he's averaging nearly 16 total defensive stops per game), and netted his second goal of the month with a clever and very athletic winner

Fafa Picault – The Philadelphia Union attacker has yet to receive a call-up of any kind since Bruce Arena reclaimed the US reins. That could change later this year if Picault builds on his recent form. His weekend winner gave the winger four goals in the last seven matchs. His all-around game has also lifted with the hot streak, as in that span, Picault has rung up 25 recovery plays and 13 pass picks.


DOWN

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Stock Up, Stock Down: USA's Ike Opara, Canada's Raheem Edwards on the rise - https://league-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/images/KljestanRing.jpg?1_capuxr0KrXe3PigyLThl28fBb_WzdT

Sacha Kljestan – After barging his way back into the USMNT reckoning in 2016 thanks to a prolific MLS campaign that saw him named as an MVP finalist, the New York Red Bulls skipper has slumped his way right back out of frame. Kljestan logged 20 assists last term, but is currently without one in his last 10 games and hasn't created a big chance since Week 11. It's not just a playmaking drought, as the veteran tallied 14 times in league play over the prior two seasons, but has yet to open his 2017 account.  

Jordan Morris – Yes, the Seattle Sounders speedster made the Gold Cup squad, but that selection is obviously more about his capabilities than it is about his form. Morris has struggled mightily to replicate his Rookie of the Year displays, bagging just two goals in 16 games this season. And lately, he's not even finding chances. The attacker was pulled after 56 minutes in Sunday's derby draw at Portland, his second straight game with a shot attempt.


Canada national team


UP⬆️


Anthony Jackson-Hamel – Simply put, few MLS players are keeping up with the 23-year-old's strike efficiency. After his weekend tally at Columbus, Jackson-Hamel is averaging a goal for every 79 minutes played. Of all players with at least five goals this season, only Atlanta's Josef Martinez boasts a faster scoring rate. That form is translating to Canada duty, as he's also found the net in his last two caps.

Stock Up, Stock Down: USA's Ike Opara, Canada's Raheem Edwards on the rise - https://league-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/images/Edwards_0.jpg?oWK_wM6TGIGC3JA8tbFYVcjdqCoE05F.

Raheem Edwards – Fresh off his Canada debut in their recent friendly win over Curacao, the versatile Toronto FC youngster keeps making a case for a lineup place at Gold Cup. In addition to notching his fifth assist across all competitions by setting up the equalizer in Wednesday's Canadian Championship final opener at Montreal, Edwards logged four tackles among 17 total defensive stops.


DOWN


Cyle Larin – News broke on Saturday that the Orlando City strike ace will not be named to Canada's initial Gold Cup squad. Even though his recent performances for club and country were not what we're used to, his recent MLS suspension surely played a part in the decision.

Stock Up, Stock Down: USA's Ike Opara, Canada's Raheem Edwards on the rise - https://league-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/images/BTMI.jpg?yKxTD0Qjthrh8tbxNuZeP2vPwz_QmDnD

Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla – A month ago, the Montreal Impact teenager seemed to be growing ever closer to his senior debut. However, since Blerim Dzemaili arrived at Stade Saputo, the reigning Canada Under-20 Player of the Year has fallen out of his club's rotation. Tabla's quiet 18-minute garbage time cameo against Columbus this weekend was his first league appearance in June.

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