Departed Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore wins MLS Player of the Week award

The US international's two-goal performance on his Toronto FC debut saw him take home the accolade.

A brace on his MLS return saw Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore trump the likes of the Clint Dempsey, Kaka and teammate Sebastian Giovinco to the first MLS Player of the Week award for the 2015 season.

After a torrid 18 months at Sunderland, Altidore returned to the league where he first made a name for himself this winter in a swap deal for Jermain Defoe, having scored just once in 42 league games during his time in the North East.

It took the US international only 90 minutes to better that record for Toronto, however, as he netted twice to help his side to a 3-1 win at Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps on the weekend and silence some of his critics in the process.

After going a goal down in the 19th-minute, Altidore drew things level in the 32nd-minute following an exquisite pass from fellow offseason addition Giovinco, before strike-partner Robbie Findley gave the visitors the lead just before the hour.

Altidore then sealed result in the final minute after both earning and converting a ‘panenka’ spot-kick, underlining the newfound confidence he’s been instilled with since heading back across the Atlantic.

Despite his Premier League struggles, scoring in MLS is nothing new to the imposing front man, having burst onto the scene as a teenager with the New York Red Bulls to net 16 goals in 41 games between 2006 and 2008, before making a then-league record $10 million switch to Villarreal.

Now older, wiser and paired with ex-Juventus star Giovinco and US teammate Michael Bradley, those numbers should be blown out of the water in 2015, as TFC bid to make their first-ever playoff appearance since entering MLS in 2007.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch