American Player Rankings: Dempsey's value keeps rising as the summer draws near

The Fulham star is in the closing run of the best season ever had by an American player in Europe.
It's official: Cint Dempsey has had the best goal-scoring season ever posted by an American player in Europe.

His goal against Chelsea, which should be given to him despite a slight deflection on the way in, put the Fulham star past Michael Bradley's record mark of 21 goals in a season. And he's not done yet.

Even if the dubious goals panel tries to take the goal away - which is unlikely because it would mean handing an own-goal to an English national team defender - Dempsey is not likely to be kept out for the rest of the season.

Dempsey's value is surging to the point where every big club in England is being linked with a possible transfer for the player and there will be a bidding war between clubs across Europe for his signing this summer.

His interview for Sky Sports, alongside club captain Danny Murphy, after the draw with Chelsea exactly the type of respect his teammates have for his ability.

Dempsey was trying to play off his form and his goals as luck when Murphy stepped in.

"He's doing himself an injustice there," Murphy said. "It's not luck, it's his work ethic. I've never trained with any one like this man. I'm telling you, it's unbelievable. He trains hard, he plays hard, and he wants to improve all the time. And that's why he's scored his goals."

Dempsey, for his part, has made a point in many interviews to talk about improving his game from year to year, and he's managed to do that.

He's also made a point several times of saying he wants the challenge of Champions League action.

It's time for him to do that as well.

1. Clint Dempsey

Age: 29

Club: Fulham
Position: Midfielder

Last Week: 1

Comment:
Three goals including his first finish from a direct free kick as a professional. A new record for Fulham. A new record for Americans. Dempsey's done everything he needs to stay at number one for a long time.
2. Tim Howard


Age: 33

Club: Everton
Position: Goalkeeper

Last Week: 2

Comments:
Another clean sheet for Howard and Everton keeps rolling right along.
3. Michael Bradley

Age: 24

Club: Chievo
Position: Midfielder

Last Week: 3

Comments:
Bradley finally brought the goals back to his game this weekend. If those came more consistently, he'd be a massive summer target for bigger clubs as well. Even without the goals he'll likely draw some attention from some of Italy's bigger teams.
4. Brad Friedel
Age: 40

Club: Tottenham
Position: Goalkeeper

Last Week: 4

Comments:
Friedel and Tottenham can't keep it together at the moment. A 2-1 loss to Norwich has kept the club in danger of dropping out of the Champions League race.
5. Jozy Altidore

Age: 22

Club: AZ
Position: Forward

Last Week: 5

Comments:
Altidore and company were dumped out of the Europa League after a massive loss to Valencia. No shock really, and he'll hold his place at five for another week.
6. Landon Donovan

Age: 30

Club: LA Galaxy
Position: Midfielder

Last Week: 6

Comment:
Donovan and the Galaxy took another loss over the weekend and things aren't looking good for either him or his team right now.
7.  Herculez Gomez


Age: 29

Club: Santos
Position: Forward

Last Week: 7

Comments:
The injuries keep limiting his time on the pitch, but Gomez makes the most out of his minutes.
8. Fabian Johnson

Age: 24

Club: Hoffenheim
Position: Midfielder/Defender

Last Week:
  8

Comments:
Johnson keeps his place after his team earned a win over Kaiserlslautern. The win moves the team comfortably away from the relegation fight on 37 points.
9. Maurice Edu

Age: 25

Club: Rangers
Position: Midfielder

Last Week:
9

Comments:
Edu was solid in a 3-1 win over St. Mirren. His is another name to keep an eye on as the transfer window nears.
10. Carlos Bocanegra

Age: 32

Club: Rangers
Position: Defender

Last Week: 10

Comments:
Bocanegra was back in for the full match in Rangers' latest win. Like Edu, his time with the club could be coming to an end soon.