AMSTERDAM – A pair of winning club debuts highlighted a perfect Tuesday night for American exports playing in Europe, with Sunderland attack prospect Lynden Gooch coming on to work an encouraging shift in a 6-3 home rout of fourth-flight mites Exeter in Capital One Cup action.
The 19-year-old US Olympic team candidate entered with the game tied in the 57th minute. The Black Cats grabbed the lead shortly after, with Jack Rodwell bagging the winner in the 64th. Gooch nearly scored his first pro goal a minute earlier, when he had a shot denied by a defender's block. Sunderland advanced to host Manchester City in the next round.
Elsewhere, fresh Fulham catch Tim Ream played 80 minutes in the heart of defense to celebrate a winning debut, a 3-0 blanking of guests Sheffield United. Though the defender did have one bad early turnover that forced Andrew Lonergan into a save, he was given a standing ovation at the end of a solid first showing for the Cottagers.
Fulham were then drawn to host a third-round matchup against Geoff Cameron's Stoke City after the US handyman buried the winning penalty kick in an 8-7 shootout victory at Luton Town. The Potters gathered themselves to pull out the win after conceding the 1-1 regulation equalizer in the 90th minute.
Cody Cropper (pictured at right) won for the second time in as many professional outings as MK Dons rallied for a 2-1 victory after extra time over visiting Cardiff City.
The US youth international made big first-half stops on Eoin Doyle and Stuart O’Keefe to keep the game scoreless at the break. Cropper and the Dons will now host his former employers Southampton in the third round.
Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City set up a third-round derby clash with Brad Guzan's Aston Villa by shutting out guests Gillingham 2-0. The center back helped preserve the shutout with a saving tackle in the box near halftime.
Reading midfielder Daniel Williams limped off in the waning moments of a 2-1 comeback win at Portsmouth. The Royals will find out their third-round assignment when Tim Howard's Everton travel to Barnsley on Wednesday night.
Turning focus to France's Coupe de la Ligue, Quentin Westberg notched his first Tours clean sheet thanks to a 2-0 home triumph over visiting Ligue 2 rivals Sochaux.
The netminder cruelly foiled striker Miguel Rayo no less than three times, including a highlight-reel stop near intermission. Combined with his Sarpsborg 08 tenure earlier this year, Westberg now has five total shutouts on the term.