Lynden Gooch has struggled to get back onto the pitch due to injury, but made the most of his latest start for EFL League One side Sunderland.
Gooch scored his first goal since Oct. 22nd on Sunday in a 2-1 road win over Doncaster Rovers. It was the 24-year-old’s fifth goal of the season, which sparked the Black Cats to a needed victory at a busy time of the season. Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson rewarded Gooch with a second-consecutive start since returning from injury, and the midfielder did not let his team down.
“Lynden is a good player, but his overall spirit and work ethic can spread through the team. You saw that happen today,” Parkinson said. “He showed good quality, he was bright and creative, and his work ethic and desire to help us grind out the win was very important. It’s important to have him back.”
2019 has been mixed with both highs and lows for Sunderland, a team who three seasons ago were playing in the English Premier League. In May, Sunderland fell one win short of returning to the EFL Championship, while the current season has not gone as planned.
The club is currently sitting in 13th in the 23-team third division, winning only two league matches since the start of November. Gooch’s return gives Parkinson an experienced option in midfield, and one that can make plays in the final third. He may only be two matches back into action, but Gooch’s presence is already getting noticed by his teammates.
“Goochy has been a huge miss,” Power said. “He came into the side against Tranmere and had a really good game that night, we won 5-0 and then unfortunately got injured. Along with that, we lost Charlie [Wyke] so it’s been a challenging time.”
“Today, the second goal is what we’ve been talking about. We’ve been getting in them areas really well and getting Denver [Hume] really high up the pitch. It was great play between him and Goochy and that’s what we’ve been looking for.”
Sunderland’s busy league schedule continues on New Years Day with a trip to Fleetwood Town. As for Gooch, he will hope to continue making an impact for the club in hopes of a return to the U.S. Men’s National Team fold in 2020.