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Americans Abroad

Gooch Makes EPL Debut; Carter-Vickers Still a Spur

David Moyes raised a few eyebrows when he named 21-year-old attacker Lynden Gooch into his Starting XI in Sunderdand's season-opener on Saturday. Also, a dual-citizen Yank is set to stay with Spurs.
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
August 15, 2016
1:45 PM

Lynden Gooch makes his EPL debut

It used to be that fans who tracked Americans abroad had a lot to look forward to in the Premier League. It wasn’t that long ago when just one club, Fulham, started a handful of Americans at one time. Those days are long over and the truth is that there are not many Yanks left in the Premier League.

In fact, just one American started on Saturday’s opening day: Sunderland’s Lynden Gooch got the nod from new manager David Moyes. It was the California-born midfielder/forward’s Premier League debut.

Gooch, 21, has been involved with U.S. youth national teams for a while and even once played for Ireland’s U-19 team (he holds British and Irish passports through his parents). Despite that, he has had a rough time recently with the United States as he was among the last cuts by Tab Ramos for the 2015 U-20 team and was never given a chance by Andres Herzog for the U-23 team.

In total, Gooch played 65 minutes against Manchester City and performed relatively well in a 2-1 draw. During his time on the field Gooch showed off his very impressive work rate and while not spectacular (at one point he was a highlight reel sensation for Sunderland’s youth teams) he showed some promise upon which Moyes can build. He’s unlikely to start regularly but he should get plenty of time as an offensive weapon off the bench.

Perhaps now, assuming he can get regular minutes, Gooch can finally break into a U.S. team—the full team.

Carter-Vickers will remain with Spurs

One of the most highly touted American prospects around, Cameron Carter-Vickers has been rising up the ranks at Tottenham for the past two years. Now the English-born Carter-Vickers is on Tottenham’s first team and head coach Mauricio Pochettino named the teenager to the matchday 18 for the season opener against Everton. He was an unused sub in the 1-1 draw.

For Carter-Vickers, 18, it only seems like a matter of time before his first-team debut with Spurs and Pochettino reaffirmed this when he announced Carter-Vickers will not be going on loan this season and will remain with the first team.

It will be interesting to see how everything unfolds once Carter-Vickers begins to play for Tottenham. If England shows interest in the burly central defender, will he remain with the United States? Carter-Vickers told me last year that while he leaned in favor of the United States should he be faced with interest from England, it would be a hard choice.

That is understandable as Carter-Vickers has spent his entire life in England and grew up a fan of England’s national team. Still, to play for England he would need to file a one-time switch since he played for the United States U-20 and U-23 teams in official competitions. If he did play for England, he would not get to change his mind.

Should he play for Spurs, however, Carter-Vickers probably won’t be far away from the full U.S. national team either. Would he accept a cap-tying call-up from Jurgen Klinsmann? You’d have to think so although so much has happened to him so quickly.

Bornstein to return to the USMNT?

On Saturday, Liga MX side Queretaro tweeted that Jonathan Bornstein wants to return to the U.S. men's national team.

Will Bornstein make a return to the U.S. senior squad? The team has left back options that haven’t been fully explored yet, like Jorge Villafana who has been doing very well at Santos Laguna. Since Bornstein is now 31 years old, a call-up seems like a longshot.

Still, it does illustrate one thing that is inarguable: Bornstein has done very well in Mexico the past two years and it would not be a stretch to say he deserves it.

Akale sniffs first team at Villarreal

There is plenty to like about the current U.S U-20 team. There seems to be loads of talent abroad, domestically in MLS, and even in college. The team has its holes with some weak positions yet to fill, and of course Tab Ramos might not get all of his players released for qualifying or even the World Cup next summer. But this age group should be a solid feeder to the full national team years in the years ahead.

Mukwelle Akale is just one of the many players climbing the ranks in Europe. While he lacks the name recognition of, say, Christian Pulisic, he is an incredibly skilled attacker. Despite his small frame, he is poised to play a big role with the U.S. U-20 team.

Over the weekend, Akale featured for Villarreal’s first team in a 3-2 friendly loss to CD Leganes. Not every American youth player in Europe is a serious prospect but Akale certainly qualifies as such.

Interest heats up for Yedlin

Sunderland’s latest moves makes it unlikely DeAndre Yedlin will return to the club where he played last season during a successful relegation battle. Yedlin is unlikely to stay with Tottenham but rumors are swirling that he could be headed north.

According to the Daily Mail, Yedlin reportedly has offers from Derby and Hull in the vicinity of £3.5 million which would be at a slight loss for Tottenham but a seemingly fair price for Yedlin who has proven that he can play at this level.

Palmer-Brown undergoes surgery

The worst news of the week for Americans abroad involves Erik Palmer-Brown who suffered an injury in his metatarsal in his foot and needed surgery to repair it. It should keep him out approximately two months. The timing of this injury could not have come at a worse time as Palmer-Brown was in the middle of a loan with Porto from Sporting Kansas City.

The Kansas City native had excelled in the first part of his loan last season where he became an immediate starter for Porto B and helped the club win the Segunda title. The option includes an option to buy and the U-20 central defender was making a strong case for Porto to exercise a purchase—a potential first team debut was not out of the equation before the end of the calendar year when his loan would expire.

Now he will have far less time to build a case for purchased by Porto—one of the best clubs in the world at developing young players. Still, Palmer-Brown is a very key player for the U.S. U-20 national team and with the U-20 World Cup approaching next May, he will have plenty of time to impress suitors if Porto does not work out.

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