Brad Guzan - Atlanta United - gives a thumb up
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Stock Up, Stock Down: USA’s Guzan, Canada’s Piette stay consistent

Although the United States and Canada have unfortunately been left out of next summer's World Cup party, life goes on in the international game.

Both countries can now get an early start on finding their direction for the next cycle, which means we're back with our latest checklist of MLS players who have been helping and harming their call-up chances.

US national team


Brandon Vincent – The Chicago left back looks certain to be one of the youngsters called in for November friendly action after setting up two of Nemanja Nikolic's three goals on Sunday. Vincent, who now has five assists on the season, is averaging nearly 10 total defensive stops per 90 minutes and only six defenders in MLS can top his sum of 21 chances created.

Brad Guzan – With a change sure to come in goal for the USMNT, Guzan carried on with his bid to finally claim the No. 1 job outright. The Atlanta United 'keeper ran his shutout streak to 492 minutes by making three second half saves in Sunday's scoreless road draw against the New York Red Bulls, including an absolute stunner on Bradley Wright-Phillips. The veteran now has eight clean sheets in just 13 starts since arriving to the Dirty South in July.

Wil Trapp – It's been a tale of two half-seasons for the Columbus midfielder, who was at his traffic-directing best in Sunday's win at Orlando City. In addition to posting at least three tackles and three pass picks for the third straight game, Trapp completed an outstanding sum of 26 positive passes in or into the attacking end.


Matt Hedges – The reigning MLS Defender of the Year put in another in a series of poor showings at Seattle on Sunday. Hedges was caught ball-watching on the Sounders' first, coughed up a loosed ball in the area and then overran it on Will Bruin's second tally, and then went missing on the cross that set up the capper. Truth be told, the FC Dallas man has looked lost at the back for a while now.

Walker Zimmerman – As FC Dallas playoff hopes circle the drain, the 24-year-old has lost his place to Atiba Harris, who demonstrates on a weekly basis that he's not really a center back. Even so, Zimmerman hasn't started since deservedly getting a second half hook at Minnesota United on Sept. 23.

Canada national team


Samuel Piette – Even in a losing effort, the local boy continues to shine in midfield. Piette repeatedly halted Toronto FC rushes on Sunday, racking up 20 total defensive stops. He's also been moving the ball well. The 22-year-old, who has six key passes and an assist in the last seven games, completed 50 of 52 passes at BMO Field.

Maxime Crepeau – The young Montreal netminder was handed his second start of the season at Toronto FC on Sunday, and responded with a decent effort. Crepeau made a big late stop to deny Sebastian Giovinco and completed two of his four long boots.


Tesho Akindele – The FC Dallas forward briefly came to life with a good display in last month's loss at Minnesota United (before seeing a late red card, that is), but he has now gone quiet again. It's been a rough season for Akindele, who has managed but one shot in his last 209 minutes of play and was largely invisible in Sunday's drubbing at Seattle.