Jurgen Klinsmann reveals how close Sunderland winger is to USMNT call-up

Sunderland winger Lynden Gooch's impressive start to the new season has caught the eye of USMNT boss Jurgen Klinsmann.
Lynden GoochLynden Gooch
Lynden Gooch

The 20-year-old American winger - who signed a new three-year deal in the summer - was born in California but is now making a name for himself on Wearside.

Gooch impressed on the pre-season tours to France and Austria and has been a first team regular under new manager David Moyes, starting all three Premier League games so far this season.

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Klinsmann revealed he has spoken with Gooch, who is also eligible for the English and Irish national teams, about his future.

There was no place for Gooch in the current squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

But Klinsmann says he only missed out on his first senior call-up because he has just broken through into the Sunderland first team.

Klinsmann toldESPN FC: "It's wonderful to see a kid break through at the start of the Premier League season.

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"I spoke to him, and for him now it's a case of, "I just broke in. I've got to digest that for a second, and I've got to make sure I keep my spot."

"This is World Cup qualifying right now.

"Yeah, we brought a couple of youngsters in but we give priority to the group that got Copa America done. So we've got to get results now.

"Maybe in October, we have the opportunity to bring some youngsters in, give them some playing time. It's a completely different scenario.

"We also have to be careful schedule-wise with some youngsters because we don't want them to lose their spots right away again. The disadvantage of our players is they lose another day flying back to their club teams in Europe.

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"That costs some games. Fabian Johnson, John Brooks, Timmy Chandler... it cost them starting roles over the past few years on occasion, which was mainly related to World Cup qualifying.

"But the reality is playing Tuesday, fly back Wednesday, arrive in Europe Thursday. On Friday and Saturday they're in training camp for the [league] game. A lot of them will struggle then.

"You have jet lag, tired legs, a long flight in your system. A lot of European coaches will then leave them aside which costs them their spot."

Gooch, a USA Under-23 international made 10 appearances during a two-month loan spell at Doncaster Rovers last season before an ankle injury brought a premature end to his spell at the Keepmoat Stadium.

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He has since established himself as a first team regular under Moyes.

Klinsmann added: "Gooch needs to stay in the picture; don't get pushed out now.

"And then when the time comes and fits in perfectly, it's no problem at all.

"But they need to make their case stronger in order to make that transition happening."