US International Jozy Altidore Hits 3rd Hat Trick of Season for AZ Alkmaar

Michael Cummings@MikeCummings37World Football Lead WriterApril 15, 2013

United States international forward Jozy Altidore scored a hat trick Sunday as AZ Alkmaar routed nine-man FC Utrecht 6-0 in the Dutch Eredivisie.

Altidore, 23, converted penalties in the 28th (he won the penalty too) and 34th minutes and added his third, a header, in the 37th minute. As no other player scored for either team during that time, Altidore's hat trick was what's known as a natural hat trick.

The goals raised Altidore's tally to 21 league goals this season. He has scored 28 goals in all competitions. Both are records for an American playing in a European top-flight league. The victory moved AZ six points clear of the relegation zone with four matches left. Utrecht sit in sixth place, in line for UEFA Europa League qualification.

The first goal can be seen here, the second here and the third here. Enjoy.

It was Altidore's third hat trick of the season. He also netted three times in the against Roda JC on Sept. 16 and against Vitesse Arnhem on Jan. 19 (per ESPN FC).

American fans will be hoping Altidore can translate this scoring form to the international level, where he has been scoreless for almost two years. U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann dropped Altidore for a key FIFA World Cup qualifier last fall (via The Guardian), but recently expressed confidence in the 23-year-old.

"(We're) not at all (concerned about Altidore's scoring drought)," Klinsmann told "What we want from Jozy is to grow... The goals will eventually come."

The goals keep coming in Holland. Will that mean a few big clubs come knocking this summer?