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Sunderland's Lynden Gooch cap tied to USA

Red, white, and blue.

Alex Morton/Getty Images

It's hard to find reasons for optimism from a 4-0 loss, but here's a small one: Lynden Gooch is now 100% committed and cap-tied to the U.S. men's national team.

The 20-year old Sunderland midfielder entered last night's World Cup Qualifying match as a substitute in the 70th minute, replacing fellow youngster Christian Pulisic. Now that he's made an appearance in a meaningful match, he is ineligible to play for England or Ireland. Gooch made one appearance for the Irish Under-18 national team in 2013.

There wasn't a lot of worry that he'd represent another country, as he continually reaffirmed his commitment to reporters. However, there was the potential for bad blood after he was left off the 2015 U-20 World Cup roster, despite playing a key role in their qualifying run.

It's been a big year for the Santa Cruz, California native who previously struggled with injury issues. Gooch has made 11 appearances for Sunderland, which includes a run in the starting lineup to start the year. He also earned his first senior national team cap in an October friendly against New Zealand.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann opted to not cap-tie Cameron Carter-Vickers, another highly regarded dual national, but that's a discussion for another post.