Altidore is predicted to be one of the top scorers for the U.S. national team during the World Cup.
Here’s what you need to know about the skilled striker:
1. Sunderland AFC Paid $13 Million For Him
In July 2013, Altidore was traded from AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands) to the English Premier League’s Sunderland to break his previous all-time transfer fee record. He was transferred from Villareal to AZ Alkmaar for $10, but was traded to Sunderland for a whopping $13 million.
The 24 year old striker broke another record for a U.S. player in Europe when he scored 31 goals for AZ in his final year there.
2. He is Deeply Involved in Charity Work For Haiti
Altidore was born to Haitian immigrants Joseph and Giselle Altidore in Livingston, New Jersey. His parents fled their corrupt home country to escape President ‘Papa Doc’ Francois Duvalier’s oppressive dictatorship.
In the four years he has been playing professionally, the star striker has taken the time to visit Haiti to provide aid via Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti Charity and to teach soccer as a part of Seth Stammler’s Sporting Chance Foundation.
He has contributed £100,000 thus far in scholarships via personal donations and fundraising, benefitting thousands of children who go to school for the price of £40 a year. Altidore even made an appeared on CNN’s flagship programme to raise awareness for the Haitian population that was destroyed from the earthquakes, leaving 1.2 million people homeless and 200,000 dead.
3. He’s Been Playing For the U.S. Since 2005
Altidore made his first appearance for the U.S. when he played for the U-17 team in the 2005 Fifa U-17 World Championship. Two years laters he represented the U.S. internationally in the 2007 Fifa U-20 World Championship, and then the U-23 team the next year at the Beijing Olympics.
In 2009, he played in the FIFA Confederations Cup, followed by the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
4. He Had a 2 Year Scoring Drought
Three years ago, Altidore was hindered by a severe hamstring injury from the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
For two years after that, he failed to score a single goal in a professional competition.
In June 2013, he broke the spell when he scored a goal against Germany in a friendly international match. After that he went on to score in his next three games to break his personal record of scoring in two consecutive international games. He also tied the all-time record with most consecutive games with a goal by any U.S. national team player. The only players to ever do this were Eddie Johnson, William Lubbe, Erik Wynalda, Brian McBride and Landon Donovan who was cut from this year’s World Cup roster.
5. He Went to the IMG Soccer Academy
Altidore trained in Bradenton, Florida at the famous IMG Academy, a breeding ground for professional athletes. Of the 23 players on the final roster, ten of them were born in Florida, played soccer there or attended IMG. Julian Green, Michael Bradley and Tim Howard are a part of that group.