AMSTERDAM – Jozy Altidore netted his third hat trick of the Eredivisie season on Sunday, bagging all three goals before halftime in a 6-0 demolition of nine-man FC Utrecht.
The US forward got the party started from the spot in the 28th minute and added another successful penalty only six minutes later. Altidore didn't need to wait long for the treble-maker, rising high to nod home a cross in the 37th minute to knock out the guests.
The three goals gave the American 21 goals in league play and 28 for the overall campaign, both new single-season records for an American in a European top flight. Meanwhile, AZ snapped a four-match AFAS-Stadion win drought to move six points clear of the trap door.
Turning to Serie A, Michael Bradley pitched in with a strong outing as AS Roma got back on track with a 2-1 victory at Torino.
Playing as the gatekeeper, the US international was credited with 17 steals of one kind or another. By notching just their second win in the past nine league matches away from home, Roma pulled level on points with rivals Lazio, who currently hold the last Europa League spot.
Over in England's Premier League, Geoff Cameron went the distance at right back in Stoke City's 2-0 home defeat to runaway table-toppers Manchester United. With six losses during a seven-game win drought, the Potters now stand just three points above the drop zone, where 18th-place Wigan hold two games in hand.
In Belgium's Jupiler League championship playoff, Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht stayed one point up at the top thanks to a 1-1 rally draw against derby visitors Club Brugge.
The US midfielder was booked early in the second half and later drew a second yellow on Laurens De Bock, whose ejection left both sides with 10 men. The defending champs are now winless in four straight league games for the first time since 2007.
Finally, in Denmark's Superliga, Charlie Davies worked the last 24 minutes as Randers FC were humbled by a 4-0 count at Esbjerg. Consecutive losses have seen the Horses slip seven points off the pace for the second Champions League berth.