[AMERICANS ABROAD] Jozy Altidore has added the Dutch Cup to his record-breaking season for AZ Alkmaar. His goal in the 14th minute proved decisive as AZ won the cup for the first time in 31 years by beating PSV Eindhoven, 2-1, Thursday night in Rotterdam.
A goal by Adam Maher gave AZ the lead in the 12th minute, and Altidore netted shortly thereafter with his 31st goal of the season in all competitions.
U.S. teammate Clint Dempsey held the previous mark for an American on a European team, scoring 23 goals last season for Fulham prior to a move to Tottenham, for which he’s scored six goals this season.
Altidore ran down a through ball from Viktor Elm and cut the ball onto his right foot as he neared the penalty area. He shot low to cleanly beat PSV keeper Boy Waterman to score his eighth cup goal. His other 23 goals have all been scored in Eredivisie play. AZ finishes the league season at Willem II on Sunday.
Juergen Locadia scored for PSV in the 31st, but AZ held on to claim the cup for the fourth time. Its previous triumphs came in a five-year span -- 1978, 1981, and 1982 -- and this year’s victory earns it a spot in the playoff qualifying round for the 2013-14 Europa League.
Despite his prolific season and the club’s cup triumph, Altidore said in an interview earlier this week that AZ will not release him for the USA friendlies against Belgium (May 29) and Germany (June 2). It is obligated only to release him four or five days before a competitive match, which in this case will be the fourth Hexagonal qualifier against Jamaica in Kingston June 7.