Lynden Gooch

Irish debut for youngster

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Gooch plays in friendly defeat.

Sunderland youngster Lynden Gooch made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland last night.

The American, who is a first-year scholar at the Academy of Light, qualifies for the Irish through his mother and was called up to the under-18 squad for their trip to Switzerland.

The stylish forward appeared as a 74th-minute substitute in the first of two friendlies against the Swiss as Ireland went down 1-0.

"There had been horrendous rain in the build-up which made for a very heavy pitch and it was close to being called off a few hours beforehand,” coach Paul Doolin told the FAI's official website.

"Overall we deserved a draw and I was very happy considering it was the first game with a group of players who haven't played together for over a year.

"It was a first game for us to see them and for them to see what we want. It wasn't bad. I was happy enough with some players."

The two sides will meet again on Thursday.