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Adding context to last week’s Clint Dempsey news

Fulham's US midfielder Clint Dempsey (L)

Fulham’s US midfielder Clint Dempsey (L) chases the ball during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Chelsea at Craven Cottage in London, England on April 9, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ADRIAN DENNIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ?live? services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

High-flying U.S. international Clint Dempsey finished fourth last week in the Professional Football Writers Association player of the year voting.

I (along with everyone else, probably) assumed voting members filled out a ballot ranking a bunch of choices or wrote in their top three or five – then proceeded to their favorite corner pub to discuss it.

But on Soccer Today yesterday (disclosure: a radio show / podcast that I co-host along with Marc Stein), Oliver Kay cleared up how the process goes. And what he told us makes Dempsey’s accomplishment in finishing fourth that much more impressive.

Kay, the Chief Football Correspondent for The Times, said voting members submit one name. That’s it. They vote for their choice of Player of the Year in England.

One name.

Recall that Dempsey finished fourth behind Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes.

That means that some (undisclosed) number of voters felt Dempsey is having the best season of them all. And never mind that some other wonderful players, like Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, are having terrific seasons of their own.

Yesterday’s show also includes Steven McManaman, the longtime Liverpool and Real Madrid man now with ESPN. Kay and McManaman had thoughts on Barcelona’s week and on Massive Monday, the huge Manchester City-Manchester United contest.