Santa Cruz Native Lynden Gooch Makes English Premier League Debut Against Manchester City
Lynden Gooch is among the few Americans currently playing in the English Premier League. Gooch grew up in Santa Cruz, California, and played for the Santa Cruz Breakers academy for four years. The midfielder has earned call ups to the U20 national team in the past, but has not been called up to the senior team or the U23 national team. In April, he signed a three year deal with Sunderland keeping him in Sunderland through 2019.
The 20 year old joined the Sunderland developmental system at a young age, and has made his way through the ranks. Gooch has risen from the U16 team, to the U18 team, to the U21 team, and now to the first team. After breaking into the U21 squad in 2013, Gooch has made a total of 32 appearances in the U21 Premier League. Last season, his best to date, he scored 5 goals and 4 assists. Gooch also went on loan to fifth division English side Gateshead FC in 2015 where he made 7 appearances, and then to later relegated League One side Doncaster Rovers FC in 2016 where he made 10 appearances.
Gooch was playing left wing in Sunderland’s 4-2-3-1 formation, and he played some dangerous balls into the box from the flanks. He made one key pass, and had two successful ‘dribbles’ past players. However, Gooch was forced to sit back a lot due to the fact that Man City was the clearly better team. He also had the difficult task of defending Raheem Sterling in several instances. A bad tackle on Sterling earned him a yellow card in the 42nd minute of the game. Gooch was subbed off in the 65th minute.
Overall, it was a great first shift for Gooch, and bodes well for his future in the Premier League and in the national team picture. As long as he stays healthy and continues to play like he did today, he should continue to get minutes at Sunderland and continue to improve.