Sunderland forward Lynden Gooch earns plaudits from Gateshead fans after loan

The US Under-20 international impressed during his month-long loan stint at the Conference club.

Sunderland’s Lynden Gooch might have spent just a month on loan at Gateshead but the 19-year-old attacker struck up a strong bond with the Conference club’s supporters during that time.

Getting his first taste of senior football, the American loanee made a big impression on his second appearance for the club, grabbing a goal and assist in last month’s 3-1 home win over Wrexham to earn glowing praise from Heed manager Gary Mills.

“I am delighted with Lynden,” he told the Chronicle at the time. “He has been excellent and as time goes on he is only going to get better because he is still learning.

“Just within a few days and we saw it on Tuesday night, he has a great attitude, he wants to win, his work ethic is very good with and without the ball and he has the quality.

“Certainly, what a great lad. Great attitude and he can play the game in the right way - but this experience can help him too.”

Gooch would make seven total appearances during his time at Gateshead before heading off for international action with US Under-20s and, while he couldn’t manage to add another goal to his account, fans made their affection for him more than clear after he took to Twitter this afternoon to thank the club for the experience.

Now back at the Stadium of Light, Gooch’s attention returns to pushing for a first-team breakthrough with Sunderland, although how long he we will have to wait for that remains to be seen.

The California-native, who also boasts British and Irish passports, has been connected to the Black Cats since the age of 10, when he impressed during a centre of excellence tour to the UK, and was brought back across the Atlantic each following summer to train at the club until signing on a permanent basis in June 2012.

Attracting interest from both Everton and AC Milan at the time, per ASN, he has since become a regular starter for the Under-21s and penned a new deal until 2017 in November, suggesting that a bright future in the North East is ahead.

While capable of filling a number of attacking roles, he has even featured as a defensive midfielder for the US U20s in the past, though his pace and skill is considered best-suited to the flanks, where he spent most his time at Gateshead.

With Sunderland’s Premier League status hanging in the balance with eight games remaining and new boss Dick Advocaat’s side desperate for a creative spark, some might argue that Gooch should be given a chance to show his potential during the final run in, although his lack of top-level experience could put paid to those hopes.

Nevertheless, the summer’s Under-20 World Cup will give him a valuable platform to further underline his promise and, should the worst happen and Sunderland suffer relegation this campaign, then he could well become someone for the club to begin their rebuild with in the Championship.

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