Several American players put in strong performances this weekend overseas, but Lynden Gooch made sure to make the most of his in limited time.
Gooch came off the bench for the second-straight week for League One side Sunderland and was able to celebrate his first goal and win of the new campaign. The California native led the Black Cats with 10 league goals a season ago and is off and running after a terrific solo effort in Saturday’s 2-0 triumph over Oxford United.
𝙎𝙞𝙩 𝙗𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙚𝙣𝙟𝙤𝙮… 🍿
Watch the highlights from yesterday, as #SAFC came away from Oxford with all three points 📺 ⤵️
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) September 20, 2020
After not getting the starting nod in the first two games, Gooch didn’t let it phase him for focusing on the goal at hand for Phil Parkinson’s side.
“I don’t think there will be many better goals than that scored this weekend,” Parkinson said in a postmatch interview. “Goochy has trained really well this week. It was very hard for me not to put him in the team but I just wanted to get the balance of the side right.”
“He was disappointed but he took it the right way. There’s going to be other players who will get left out in this long season, but you’ve got to accept the decision and you’ve got to come on the pitch and let your football do the talking.”
Gooch played only 12 minutes in the victory at the Kassam Stadium, but ultimately brought a bright spot off the bench. He had two shots on goal with one of them icing the victory for the Black Cats, who picked up its first three points of the season.
The 24-year-old is in his third League One season with Sunderland, who missed out on the promotion playoffs last season despite the COVID-19 pandemic forcing an early halt to league action. After seeing his production improve over the last two seasons at the Stadium of Lights, Gooch will be aiming for new career highs and hopefully a spot in the Championship this time next year.
Sunderland returns to Wearside this weekend for a date with Peterborough before a trip to Charlton Athletic on Oct. 3rd.