Tuesday February 8th, 2011

What is Clint Dempsey's worth?

To Fulham, it's the difference between being six places clear of the drop zone or being buried at the bottom of it.

Dempsey has made a habit of scoring crucial goals during his career as a Cottager, and he added another to his account with a late equalizer against Aston Villa over the weekend. He now has 10 goals in all competitions this season.

"It's the first time I've gotten into double digits since I've been here," Dempsey told FulhamFC.com. "I've come close a few times, and it's good to better myself each season. It's good to finally get into that number of goals, and hopefully I can push on and finish the season strong."

All of Dempsey's career-high nine league goals have come either in wins or draws, and they have translated directly into 13 points for Fulham -- half of the team's season total. Considering that without those results Fulham would be trailing last-place West Ham by seven points, Dempsey's name should be in the mix when debating the candidates for the league's most valuable player.

He's tied for eighth in goals among all Premier League players, has accounted for almost a third of Fulham's goals (nine of 28) and is doing more than just scoring. His high work rate and ability to be solid on the ball whether he's playing up top or in the midfield have been constants throughout this season, and he has developed into a consistent aerial threat. After winning over first-year manager Mark Hughes and entering the starting rotation for good, following a brief period of uncertainty, Dempsey is in the midst of his finest season as a professional.

Playing the role of savior at Craven Cottage is nothing new for Dempsey, who scored the winning goal in a match against Liverpool in May 2007, to keep Fulham in England's top flight. Now it seems as if every one of his goals are essentially doing the same thing.

Here's the full rundown of how Dempsey and the rest of the Americans playing abroad fared this past week (statistics encompass all competitions):

Premier League

Michael Bradley, M, Aston Villa -- Not in the 18 for Villa's 3-1 loss to Manchester United on Tuesday or for Villa's 2-2 draw with Fulham on Saturday. SEASON: 22 games, 20 starts, 4 goals

Clint Dempsey, M/F, Fulham -- Started, played 90 minutes in Fulham's 1-0 victory over Newcastle on Wednesday. Dempsey also started, played 90 minutes and scored a 78th-minute equalizer in Fulham's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa on Saturday. Dempsey got himself into position at the edge of the 6-yard box and out-jumped the Aston Villa defense to head a Damien Duff corner kick past keeper Brad Friedel, leveling the score. SEASON: 30 games, 27 starts, 10 goals

Brad Friedel, GK, Aston Villa -- Started, played 90 minutes and made seven saves in Villa's 3-1 loss to Manchester United on Tuesday. Friedel also started, played 90 minutes and made three saves in Villa's 2-2 draw with Fulham on Saturday. SEASON: 29 games, 29 starts, 97 saves, 46 goals allowed, 5 clean sheets

Marcus Hahnemann, GK, Wolverhampton -- In the 18, but did not play in Wolves' 1-0 loss to Bolton on Wednesday. Hahnemann was also in the 18 but did not play in Wolves' 2-1 victory over Manchester United on Saturday. SEASON: 17 games, 17 starts, 59 saves, 28 goals allowed, 1 clean sheet

Stuart Holden, M, Bolton -- Started, played 90 minutes in Bolton's 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton on Wednesday. Holden also started and played 87 minutes in Bolton's 2-1 loss to Tottenham on Saturday. SEASON: 23 games, 21 starts, 2 goals

Tim Howard, GK, Everton -- Started, played 90 minutes, made four saves and picked up a yellow card in Everton's 2-1 loss to Arsenal on Tuesday. Howard also started, played 90 minutes and did not make a save in Everton's 5-3 victory over Blackpool on Saturday. SEASON: 27 games, 27 starts, 73 saves, 36 goals allowed, 5 clean sheets

Jermaine Jones, M, Blackburn -- Started, played 64 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Blackburn's 1-0 loss to Tottenham on Wednesday. Jones also started, played 79 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Blackburn's 4-3 loss to Wigan Athletic on Saturday. SEASON: 19 games, 18 starts, 1 goal

Eric Lichaj, D, Aston Villa -- Not in the 18 for Villa's 3-1 loss to Manchester United on Tuesday or for Villa's 2-2 draw with Fulham on Saturday. SEASON: 8 games, 6 starts

Jonathan Spector, M/D, West Ham -- Not in the 18 for West Ham's 3-1 victory over Blackpool on Wednesday or for West Ham's 1-0 loss to Birmingham on Sunday. Spector picked up what the club called a "minor hamstring injury" in training and had to miss both matches. SEASON: 12 games, 11 starts, 4 goals

Championship

Conor Doyle, F, Derby County -- In the 18, did not play in Derby County's 2-1 loss to Ipswich Town on Tuesday. Doyle was also in the 18 but did not play in Derby County's 1-1 draw with Portsmouth on Saturday. SEASON: 11 games, 4 starts

Robbie Findley, F, Nottingham Forest -- Not in the 18 for Nottingham Forest's 2-1 victory over Coventry City on Tuesday or for Nottingham Forest's 1-0 victory over Watford on Saturday. Findley suffered a thigh injury in training last Wednesday and has been ruled out for up to the next 12 weeks. SEASON: 0 games

Mike Grella, F, Leeds United -- Not in the 18 for Leeds' 2-2 draw with Hull City on Tuesday or for Leeds' 1-0 victory over Coventry City on Saturday. SEASON: 12 games, 7 starts, 3 goals

Brad Guzan, GK, Hull City -- Started, played 90 minutes and made seven saves in Hull's 2-2 draw with Leeds United on Tuesday. Guzan also started, played 90 minutes and made four saves in Hull's 5-1 victory over Scunthorpe United on Saturday. SEASON: 10 games, 10 starts, 47 saves, 12 goals allowed, 2 clean sheets

Eddie Johnson, F, Preston North End -- Not in the 18 for Preston North End's 2-0 loss to Barnsley on Tuesday. Johnson started and played 90 minutes in Preston North End's 4-0 loss to Bristol City on Saturday. SEASON: 13 games, 2 starts

Zak Whitbread, D, Norwich City -- In the 18, did not play in Norwich City's 2-1 victory over Millwall on Tuesday. Whitbread started and played the first half of Norwich City's 2-1 loss to Burnley on Saturday. SEASON: 7 games, 6 starts

League One

Anton Peterlin, M, Plymouth Argyle -- In the 18, did not play in Plymouth Argyle's 1-0 loss to Yeovil Town on Tuesday. Peterlin was also in the 18 but did not play in Plymouth Argyle's 2-0 loss to Brentford on Saturday. SEASON: 5 games, 4 starts

Frank Simek, D, Carlisle United -- Started, played 90 minutes in Carlisle's 2-0 loss to Huddersfield Town on Tuesday. Simek also started and played 90 minutes in Carlisle's 3-1 loss to Walsall on Saturday. SEASON: 34 games, 34 starts

League Two

Jon-Paul Pittman, F, Wycombe Wanderers -- In the 18, did not play in Wycombe's 2-1 victory over Cheltenham Town on Tuesday. Pittman was also in the 18 and came on as an 84th-minute substitute in Wycombe's 1-1 draw with Port Vale on Saturday. SEASON: 7 games, 3 starts, 2 goals

Bundesliga

DaMarcus Beasley, M, Hannover 96 -- Not in the 18 for Hannover's 1-0 victory over VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday. SEASON: 4 games

Steve Cherundolo, D, Hannover 96 -- Started, played 90 minutes in Hannover's 1-0 victory over VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday. SEASON: 21 games, 21 starts

Ricardo Clark, M/D, Eintracht Frankfurt -- Not in the 18 for Frankfurt's 0-0 draw with SC Freiburg on Sunday. Clark is expected to be out for the next three weeks while recovering after breaking his cheekbone. SEASON: 7 games, 4 starts

Daniel Williams, D, SC Freiburg -- Not in the 18 for Freiburg's 0-0 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday. SEASON: 5 games, 2 starts

2. Bundesliga

Edson Buddle, F, FC Ingolstadt 04 -- Started, played 80 minutes and assisted on the only goal in Ingolstadt's 1-0 victory over Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday. SEASON: 3 games, 2 starts, 1 goal

Luis Robles, GK, Karlsruhe SC -- Started, played 90 minutes and made five saves in Karlsruhe's 3-0 loss to SC Paderborn 07 on Saturday. SEASON: 15 games, 15 starts, 60 saves, 26 goals allowed, 4 clean sheets

Bobby Wood, F, TSV 1860 Munich -- In the 18, came on as an 88th-minute substitute in Munich's 1-1 draw with Fortuna Dusseldorf on Monday. SEASON: 2 games

Dave Yelldell, GK, MSV Duisburg -- Started, played 90 minutes and did not make a save in Duisburg's 3-1 victory over FC Erzgebirge Aue. SEASON: 25 games, 25 starts, 62 saves, 21 goals allowed, 9 clean sheets

3. Liga

Matt Taylor, F, Rot Weiss Ahlen -- Rot Weiss Ahlen's scheduled match against Stuttgart II on Wednesday was postponed. Taylor started and played 38 minutes in Rot Weiss Ahlen's 1-0 loss to Babelsberg on Saturday. According to the team's website, Taylor tried to play through a calf injury, but he had to be subbed off before halftime, and his status for Wednesday's match against Hansa Rostock is uncertain. SEASON: 15 games, 15 starts, 10 goals

Ligue 1

Carlos Bocanegra, D, St. Etienne -- Started, played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in St. Etienne's 2-1 victory over Montpellier on Saturday. SEASON: 20 games, 20 starts, 1 goal

Charlie Davies, F, FC Sochaux -- Not in the 18 for Sochaux's 2-1 loss to Chambery in the Round of 16 in the Coupe de France on Wednesday or for Sochaux's 1-0 loss to Nice in league play on Saturday. Davies is currently undergoing a weeklong evaluation with D.C. United in Florida for the club to determine whether he is fit to sign on loan. The two parties have already agreed on a 12-month loan pending the outcome of the evaluation. SEASON: 0 games

Eredivisie

Oguchi Onyewu, D, FC Twente Enschede -- Not in the 18 for Twente's 1-1 draw with FC Utrecht on Sunday. SEASON: 3 games, 3 starts

Super Lig

Jozy Altidore, F, Bursaspor -- Not in the 18 for Bursaspor's 2-1 victory over Sivasspor on Friday. Altidore's paperwork was not yet completed, prohibiting him from suiting up on Friday. SEASON: 13 games, 7 starts, 2 goals

1. Lig

Freddy Adu, M, Caykur Rizespor -- Not in the 18 for Rizespor's 1-0 loss to Denizlispor on Saturday. Like Altidore, Adu was not yet cleared to suit up for his new squad. SEASON: 0 games

Eerste Klasse

Sacha Kljestan, M, RSC Anderlecht -- In the 18, came on as an 84th-minute substitute in Anderlecht's 2-0 victory over St. Truiden on Saturday. SEASON: 22 games, 18 starts, 3 goals

Liga de Honra

Bryan Arguez, M, G.D. Estoril Praia -- Not in the 18 for Estoril's 2-0 victory over Moreirense on Sunday. SEASON: 1 game, 1 start

Greg Garza, D, G.D. Estoril Praia -- Not in the 18 for Estoril's 2-0 victory over Moreirense on Sunday. SEASON: 1 game

Tony Taylor, F, G.D. Estoril Praia -- In the 18, did not play in Estoril's 2-0 victory over Moreirense on Sunday. SEASON: 16 games, 3 starts, 4 goals

Premier League

Dominic Cervi, GK, Celtic FC -- Not in the 18 for Celtic's 3-0 victory over Aberdeen on Tuesday or for Celtic's 2-2 draw with Rangers in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup on Sunday. The two rivals are forced to replay the tie on Feb. 20. SEASON: 0 games

Maurice Edu, M, Rangers FC -- Started, played 90 minutes in Rangers' 1-0 victory over Hearts of Midlothian on Wednesday. Edu also started and played 90 minutes in Rangers' 2-2 draw with Celtic in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup on Sunday. SEASON: 25 games, 19 starts, 4 goals

Primera Division

Daniel Antunez, M/D, Estudiantes Tecos -- In the 18, came on as a 60th-minute substitute in Tecos' 3-2 loss to San Luis on Saturday. SEASON: 2 games, 1 start

Jonathan Bornstein, M/D, Tigres UANL -- Started, played 78 minutes and assisted on the opening goal in Tigres' 2-0 victory over Santos Laguna on Saturday. EASON: 3 games, 3 starts

Edgar Castillo, D, Puebla --Started, played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Puebla's 1-0 loss to UNAM on Sunday. SEASON: 4 games, 3 starts

Herculez Gomez, F, Pachuca -- Started, played 90 minutes in Pachuca's 2-0 loss to Monterrey on Saturday. SEASON: 5 games, 1 start

Sonny Guadarrama, M, Atlante -- In the 18, came on as a 70th-minute substitute in Atlante's 2-0 loss to Chivas de Guadalajara on Saturday. SEASON: 4 games

Sammy Ochoa, F, Estudiantes Tecos -- Not in the 18 for Tecos' 3-2 loss to San Luis on Saturday. SEASON: 0 games

Jose Francisco Torres, M, Pachuca -- Started, played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Pachuca's 2-0 loss to Monterrey on Saturday. SEASON: 2 games, 1 start

Avi Creditor is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C.

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