Gooch’s first goal came via a converted penalty, side-footing the ball into the bottom right corner after he was scythed down in the box by Rochdale’s Oliver Rathbone. The 22-year-old midfielder put the match out of reach with a superb solo effort in the 66th minute, cutting inside from the wing and guiding his shot past keeper Josh Lillis.
Gooch is off to a solid start this season, tallying three goals and four assists. While he wasn’t included in the most recent national team roster for the friendlies against Brazil and Mexico, he’ll likely work his way into future squads if he continues his current run of form.
In a recent interview with Brian Sciaretta of American Soccer Now, Gooch discussed his desire to stay with Sunderland despite interest from other clubs:
“I knew there would be interest elsewhere but this is the club I’ve been with a really long time and I would do anything to get the club back where it belongs. The manager really made me feel that I would be an integral part of the team from day one... Without the club, I wouldn’t be a professional footballer. They really invested in me and worked to give the best opportunity to have a career in the game.” [Read the rest of the interview on American Soccer Now.]
The Black Cats are currently in third place in League One with 18 points from nine matches. The club has endured back-to-back relegation from the Premier League and the Championship, but is currently attempting to return to its former glory under new ownership and former St. Mirren manager Jack Ross. Sunderland’s next match is against Coventry on Saturday, September 29th.