Altidore scoops top American gong despite poor start

Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore picked up US Soccer's award for 'Athlete of the Year' in the men's category on Wednesday.

Jozy Altidore scooped the prize for 'Male Athlete of the Year' in US Soccer's traditional awards ceremony.

The Sunderland man, who is still goalless after eight Premier League appearances, has landed the accolade after his impressive form for the United States Male National Soccer Team (USMNT).

Altidore set a new record for the Stars and Stripes of the USA, when he scored in five consecutive matches between June 2nd and August 14th. Altidore scored eight times for the USA during 2013.

This is the first time that Altidore has won the award, and he becomes the 22nd recipient of the award, which was launched in 1984.

Altidore has endured a tormenting start to Premier League life with struggling Sunderland, after earning a summer switch after an impressive spell with Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar.

He caught the eye of former boss Paolo Di Canio after scoring on 51 occasions in just 93 competitive appearances in the Netherlands, having previously failed to impress with Premier League surprise package Hull City in 2009.

Whilst he may have claimed the 'Athlete of the Year' award from US Soccer, Altidore has looked anything but athletic in his outings for the Black Cats this summer.

His performances have been marred by impotency, in large party down to his lumbering style and characteristic lack of composure that have dogged his Premier League displays.

Altidore, 24, has scored just once for Sunderland - with that goal coming in the Capital One Cup win over League One outfit MK Dons.

Sunderland fans will be hoping that the award can ignite Altidore's stuttering start to life at the Stadium of Light.

Abby Wambach collected the award for 'Female Athlete of the Year' for the sixth time in her career.

image: © Erik Daniel Drost

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