It earned him a lucrative move to Europe with Villareal, at just the age of 18, but it has taken the youngster a little while to find his scoring boots on the continent.
He is best known on these shores for his loan spell at Hull in 2009-10, where he ended his campaign with the same number of red cards as he did Premier League goals - One.
For a striker it was an embarrassing strike rate, one in 28 games, earning him the tag of the 'American Emile Heskey', which wasn't helped by indifferent performances at the 2010 World Cup.
The following season he headed to Turkey with Buraspor, where again he scored just once, before finally hitting the right note with AZ Alkmaar on loan last season, scoring 15 times.
It should be remembered that he is only 22, a full international with more than 50 caps, and having played in five different domestic leagues around the world, has already amassed a wealth of experience and knowledge from which to build from.
He signed permanently with AZ this summer, and he has proved his loan spell was no flash in the pan. He has had a storming start to the season, and currently leads the goal charts in the Eredivisie.
Altidore has eight goals in seven games, which included a stunning hat-trick against Roda JC in a 4-0 win. His closest rivals at the top of the race for the Dutch Golden Boot are Bony Wilfried and Lex Immers, both on five goals.
So is he confirming his status as finally a top talent to take the world by storm? The jury remains out on that one, his first challenge is to maintain his current form throughout the season for Alkmaar.
There is no reason why he shouldn't target 20-25 goals, which would really make Europe's big guns start to once again take notice of his predatory skills. A period of regularly hitting the back of the net was exactly what he needed, as it appeared during his time at Hull especially that his confidence and touch deserted him by the end.
Yet most in England will remain sceptical. The Eredivisie is a difficult league to read, just ask Middlesborough fans, who had seen Alfonso Alves look like Messi, scoring five goals in a match only for him to come over to Teeside for £13 million and be as poor as any of their signings in recent history.
Mateja Kezman is another infamous example, while both Dirk Kuyt and Luis Suarez, both prolific in Holland, did not, and have so far not converted that form for Liverpool. On the other hand famous names such as Ruud van Nistelrooy made their names in the division and carried on that form elsewhere.
One thing we do know, is that Altidore will feel he has a point to prove over here, and if the opportunity arises in the future, don't be surprised to see him take the chance to head back to the Premier League.
Is Altidore finally developing into a gem of a striker, or is his recent form just proof anyone can score in the Eredivisie?
image: © richardofengland