From Santa Cruz, California, Lynden Gooch is making his way in the Premier League with Sunderland.
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The 20-year-old midfielder has burst onto the scene at the start of this season, starting four of Sunderland’s first five games in the PL as he made his debut away at Manchester City in the opening game of the season.
That success has caught the eye of U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and with Gooch previously part of the U.S. U20 setup, he’s obviously a player the USMNT is keeping a close eye on. As for Gooch, well, he’s keeping his options up for now.
In an interview with the Guardian in the UK, Gooch revealed he has yet to decide if he will represent the U.S. at the international level as he also qualifies for England and the Republic of Ireland.
“I qualify for England and Ireland as well, so there’s always stuff that can happen,” he says. “But I would love to play for the US again. I had a lot of pride putting on that shirt coming from California. I played a lot of football in California and I owe a lot to the country. The door is wide open at the minute.”
Gooch’s rise has been a pleasant surprise for the USMNT and it will be intiguing to see if Klinsmann calls him up to his squad for the friendly games against Cuba and New Zealand in October.
While some may be surprised about Gooch’s remarkable rise from joining the Black Cats as a 16-year-old in their academy four years ago to now being a first team regular, the California native isn’t.
“I knew I was good enough from a young age,” Gooch said. “I was really confident. I had no doubts, without even training at Sunderland or knowing anyone. I think that’s a big part of it. If you have the confidence in your ability, anything can happen.”
Right now, just at the start of his senior career in the Premier League, it seems like the U.S. should make a big push to get Gooch on board as quickly as possible.