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Jerry Zgoda

Reporter | Minnesota United FC
Phone: 612-673-7197

Jerry Zgoda covers Minnesota United FC and Major League Soccer for the Star Tribune.


Zgoda has been a Star Tribune sportswriter so long, his first beat directly out of college was covering the North Stars. In nearly 30 years, he has covered the NHL, the Wolves and the NBA twice (he missed the first Kevin Garnett era, which says something about his sense of timing), Gophers and NCAA athletics, the radio/TV beat, major-championship golf and outdoor recreation.
Recent content from Jerry Zgoda
Minnesota United midfielder Ethan Finlay (13, right) celebrated after scoring a goal in the second half as midfielder Kevin Molino (7) and forward Ang

Finlay scores against old team, leads Loons to 1-0 win over Columbus

Finlay waited more than two years to score his first goal for a Columbus team that drafted him in 2012. On Saturday, he waited 70 minutes more for his first goal this season, his first on the road back from ACL surgery last season.
Minnesota United midfielder Miguel Ibarra (10) and Columbus Crew defender Josh Williams (3) jumped to head the ball in the second half.

Minnesota United shuffles lineup to shore up defense

Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath shuffled his starting 11 for Saturday's game against Columbus.
Minnesota United star forward Darwin Quintero has been in a reserve’s role the past two games — his first two times as a Loon — during a season

Loons hope Quintero starts scoring in new formation

The star forward has been in a reserve's role the past two games — his first two times as a Loon — during a season in which he hasn't been the scorer (other than on penalty kicks) he was a year ago.
United midfielder Ethan Finlay figures that once he scores a goal this season, more will come. He had knee surgery early last season.

Composed Finlay ready to get 'off the schneid' for Minnesota United

Loons midfielder Ethan Finlay hasn't scored this season despite chances.
Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath.

Minnesota United looks to return to goal-scoring form

After getting shut out Saturday night, the Loons have scored two goals over their past four games.
Francisco Calvo (right), playing for the Loons in Toronto in April, will be in a Chicago Fire kit against them Saturday night.

Extra emotion once again as Loons face Calvo in Chicago

Francisco Calvo is not happy about his final days with Minnesota.
LPGA Tour star Stacy Lewis and PGA Tour star Phil Mickelson took turns Monday re-enacting famous hits from Twins history from home plate at Target Fie

Minnesota's reputation on the golf tour is growing, Mickelson says

Phil Mickelson visited Target Field on Monday to challenge LPGA star Stacy Lewis in a trick-shot contest and also spoke about a PGA of America women's major championship arriving at Hazeltine in June.
Ike Opara scored a big goal for United with his headwork rather than footwork, and paid the price despite his protective headband.

Opara's head game breaks Loons' set-piece drought, draws blood again

Opara scores Loons goal on a header against Seattle on Saturday, but gets a bloody nose in the process.
PGA chief championships officer Kerry Haigh is no stranger to organizing championships at Hazeltine National.

PGA officer Haigh returns to prepare Hazeltine for LPGA major

The official who set up the PGA and Ryder Cup championships is overseeing the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Hazeltine in June.
Minnesota United midfielder Rasmus Schuller (20) and Seattle Sounders midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro (10) collided as midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (6) moved

Loons play to 1-1 draw with Seattle at Allianz Field

Minnesota United remained undefeateed but 1-0-3 at Allianz Field in its inaugural season.

Former Seattle teammates learned a lot from ex-Sounder Alonso

Similar in body type and height to Ozzie Alonso, Cristian Roldan watched and learned as he turned himself into a central playmaker when both were with Seattle.
United defender Francisco Calvo (5) jumped for a header in the first half off a corner kick against New York City in the Allianz Field opener on April

United trades team captain Calvo to Chicago for cash

The Loons traded captain Francisco Calvo to Chicago, nine days after he was suspended for a game and never found his way back into the lineup for a team he led.
United midfielder Ozzie Alonso, obtained from Seattle in the offseason on waivers, is a veteran leader.

Alonso happy with another fresh start, this time with Loons

Midfielder Ozzie Alonso defected from Cuba 12 years ago and built an accomplished soccer resume with the Seattle Sounders, whom he will play against on Saturday for the first time with his Loons' teammates.
Minnesota United's Eric Miller defended against D.C. United's Ulises Segura on Sunday.

Loons' shutdown defense has strong Woodbury connection

Eric Miller and Brent Kallman both played high school soccer just down the freeway from Allianz Field.
Minnesota United players gave proper reverence to Oasis’ “Wonderwall” after defeating D.C. United for the team’s first victory at Allianz Fiel

Late goal secures Minnesota United's first victory at Allianz Field

Angelo Rodriguez scored in the 82nd minute to lift the Loons to a 1-0 victory over D.C. United, much to their fans' delight.
Donovan Pines attempted a header against Minnesota United goalkeeper Vito Mannone. The ball went in the net, but video review determined Frederic Bril

Minnesota United captain Francisco Calvo sits out again

Coach Adrian Heath decided he did not want to mess with the Loons' defensive success.
The presence of Wayne Rooney, right, benefits the MLS, it’s said. Try convincing those checking him.

'On a different level': Loons set to face Rooney and his superstar effect

D.C. United's Wayne Rooney, who comes to Allianz Field on Sunday, is a playmaker who roams the field and uses his smarts to create for both himself and his teammates.
Minnesota United midfielder Rasmus Schuller (20) and Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Uriel Antuna (18) jumped for a header in the second half during a d

Spongy Allianz Field turf 'terrible,' weather isn't helping

The turf, trucked in from Colorado last October, needs time to put down deeper roots and firm up. Some players are wearing metal cleats to minimize slippage.
Changes in Minnesota United’s back line plugged leaks the past two games, including keeping the L.A. Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, right, in check

Defensive leaks plugged for Loons; will they hold?

Return of players might offer coach Adrian Heath even more options.

Alonso keeps captain's armband for Loons with Calvo out

While Ozzie Alonso was the captain — a role the four-time MLS All-Star held in his last of 10 seasons in Seattle — veteran defender Ike Opara returned to the starting lineup.
Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath yelled to his players from the sidelines in the second half.

After United's rough loss, Heath offers pep talk and some praise

Despite its recent striuggles, United is tied for the Western Conference's final playoff spot. It plays six of its next seven games at Allianz Field.
Tom Lehman has supervised changes at the TPC Twin Cities.

Home-course advantage? 3M Open to offer spots to Lehman, Herron

In addition to the locals, C.T. Pan, Jimmy Walker and Pat Perez are the latest notable names who have committed to play at TPC of Twin Cities in Blaine July 4-7
The effect of red cards Friday — this one to Jan Gregus — will linger into Wednesday, when the Loons must play without Gregus and Francisco Calvo.

Mental meltdowns lead to suspensions for two United players

The Loons lost the game and their composure in Friday's defeat at Toronto, and midfielders Jan Gregus and Francisco Calvo will miss Wednesday's game after drawing red cards for their actions.
Loons right back Romain Metanire made a header one of his team-leading 82 touches Saturday at Allianz Field.

Metanire's runs on the right changed game, Loons coach says

Right back Romain Metanire caused New York City FC to adjust its lineup at halftime Saturday in a 3-3 draw with Minnesota United in the debut of Allianz Field.
Ozzie Alonso acknowledged the crowd after his first-half goal. “Means a lot,” Alonso said. “I never thought I’d score first goal in new stadiu

Alonso's goal triggers screaming from Loons faithful

Ozzie Alonso became the first to score a goal in new Allianz Field, on a powerful volley from 8 yards out
Crews worked to install the clock and manual scoreboard above the Brew Hall on Friday at Allianz Field amid snow flurries ahead of Saturday’s home o

Allianz Field's clock, scoreboard resemble those from National Sports Center

The clock and scoreboard are re-creations of ones used at the National Sports Center in Blaine as the seasons changed and the local soccer team did, too, from Thunder to Stars to United.
Allianz Field is the new home of Minnesota United and professional soccer in the Twin Cities. This photo was shot on April 3.

From dream to reality: Allianz Field debuts

Minnesota United owner Bill McGuire said the new stadium "will bring soccer, the world's game, to our community in a long-lasting way, with a vision that says we want the future to be better than the past."
Come late Saturday afternoon, this section will be turning up the volume at Allianz Field.

Standing-only by design, Wonderwall holds 2,900 ardent noisemakers

The most boisterous of Minnesota United's supporters will be located behind the south goal. They will sing, chant and stomp, but never sit — there are no seats.
Head groundskeeper Ryan Moy showed off about 97,000 square feet of Kentucky bluegrass, grown in Colorado.

Get ready for faster soccer on pampered Allianz Field pitch

Under the watchful eye of a turf expert, a luscious lawn has been dropped into the middle of St. Paul.
Minnesota United defender Brent Kallman (front), inserted into the starting lineup in the Loons’ 2-1 victory at New York Red Bulls, battled Houston

Loons' road success gives coach lineup options for Allianz Field debut

One question for coach Adrian Heath is whether to start star Darwin Quintero, who sat out last Saturday's victory because of an injury. Longtime Loon Miguel Ibarra appears likely to miss the first game in the team's new stadium.
Virginia free-throw perfection carries overtime

Virginia free-throw perfection carries overtime

Starting with Kyle Guy's last three on Saturday night and continuing through Monday's game, the Cavaliers made 23 of their final 26 free throws in the tournament.
Laettner, who will turn 50 in August, knows that to this day fans either love him or hate him, at least partly because of his competitiveness. “I wa

Love him or hate him, Laettner's iconic shot never gets old

Still talked about, the Duke star's buzzer-beater sent his team to Minneapolis in 1992
Fellow broadcaster Jim Gray discovered the back surgeon and medical company that freed Walton from the constant pain that had him contemplating suicid

Freest of spirits, Walton finally free of pain, too

In the 1973 Final Four title game, Walton made 21 of 22 shots and scored 44 points to lead UCLA over Memphis State. But crippling injuries derailed his pro career.
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo walked off the court after his team's loss to Texas Tech.

Izzo defends Big Ten after another Final Four chance slips away

It's now 19 years and counting since a Big Ten team won an NCAA men's basketball title. Tom Izzo's Michigan State team last won one in 2000.
Virginia teammates celebrated with Kyle Guy, second from left, after he made three free throws to win the game.

Different press conference vibe this time for Virginia's grown-up juniors

A year after Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome answered questions about losing to a 16 seed, on Saturday the pair got to talk about making it to the national championship game.
Midfielder Ethan Finlay (13) is back in the Loons’ lineup after having knee surgery last season.

Finlay back, Molino close as injured Loons return to action

Ethan Finlay came through his first start last Saturday just fine and Kevin Molino is close to returning, too.
Minnesota United players took part Wednesday in the first training session at Allianz Field in St. Paul.

First Loons practice at Allianz Field not quite pitch perfect

On real grass at the $250 million stadium, players enjoyed being outside despite a few soft spots where the Colorado-grown turf is still settling in with the home opener 10 days away.
Minnesota United midfielder Ethan Finlay

Finlay pushing to reclaim spot with Loons that injury cost him

Ethan Finlay has come off the bench in each of United's first three games. He started all seven games he played before he tore his ACL early last season.
Ryan Moy is tasked with turning a snow-covered field into a showcase for professional soccer.

The mad scientist behind St. Paul Allianz Field's beautiful green turf

Like many other 10-year-old boys, Ryan Moy earned summer spending money by mowing neighbors’ lawns. But only he ended up here, as the head groundskeeper…
College March Madness sucks in pro soccer's bracket experts, too

College March Madness sucks in pro soccer's bracket experts, too

Loons coach Adrian Heath, an Englishman, said he has learned to "love" American college sports after living in Minnesota, Orlando and particularly Austin, Texas
Minnesota United goalkeeper Vito Mannone (1) makes a save near teammate Ike Opara (3) in the second half of the Loons' MLS season-opener against the V

Loons goalkeeper Mannone adjusting to life in Minnesota, MLS

From pronouncing a Minneapolis lake's new name to getting in sync with new teammates, Mannone has been a "more than competent" addition to Minnesota United.
Minnesota United forward Mason Toye, among those playing with the club’s Forward Madison affiliate, attempts a shot on goal against Orlando City in

Madison soccer affiliate provides playing time for young Minnesota United talent

The USL team Forward Madison combines development opportunity and close proximity for those who get little playing time with the Loons.
Brooks Koepka was part of the winning Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine in 2016.

Brooks Koepka, world's third-ranked golfer, set to play in first 3M Open

At third in the world, he has the top ranking entered so far, and he's a two-time Open champ.
Angelo Rodriguez.

Loons have bye week to evaluate fast start, loss to Los Angeles

The Galaxy defeat shows that not everything is figured out yet.
Ibrahimovic

Olum, who has ties to Minnesota and Loons coach Heath

Lawrence Olum scored the first goal ever against United in MLS play, in Portland's 5-1 victory on March 3, 2017. He also played for the Minnesota Thunder in its USL days and for Heath.
Phil Mickelson celebrated his putt on the 18th hole at Hazeltine National Golf Course to finish his Sunday round at the 2016 Ryder Cup.

Big addition for 3M Open: Phil Mickelson commits to play in Blaine

The five-time major champion is the biggest commitment yet for the July PGA Tour event at TPC Twin Cities. "We couldn't be more excited," 3M Open tournament director Peter Mele said.
Minnesota United FC’s Ozzie Alonso (6), acquired during the offseason from Seattle, fights for a loose ball during a preseason friendly against New

Alonso firms up suddenly stingy Loons defense

Minnesota United's first road shutout against San Jose owes in part to the defensive play of the 33-year-old all-star midfielder, acquired from Seattle, and fellow newcomer Jan Gregus.
The Loons’ Darwin Quintero (25) scored on a penalty kick against San Jose’s Daniel Vega. It was the team’s 100th MLS goal.

Minnesota United says goodbye to negativity, hello to 2-0 season start

Opening the season with two victories on the road already doubles the numbers of games won by the Loons when they were away from home in 2018.
Minnesota United’s Carlos Darwin Quintero (25) celebrates his goal with Rasmus Schuller during the first half against Vancouver Whitecaps on March 2

Minnesota United Insider: Does remade team have mental resolve to win more on the road?

It's not easy for many MLS teams. After a rare victory at Vancouver, the Loons have four consecutive chances to change the narrative of its first two seasons.
New Earthquakes coach Matias Almeyda coached for Chivas de Guadalajara in Mexico last season.

Loons to encounter 'set of cards' defense against San Jose

In the season’s second game Saturday, Minnesota United meets a San Jose team unlike any it will play again because of new coach Matias…
Minnesota United forward Angelo Rodriguez (9) maneuvered the ball past New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson for a goal in a game on Sept. 29, 2018

Rodriguez is back to prove he's a scorer for Loons

Angelo Rodriguez, a designated player who joined the team mid-season, has battled injuries but aims to show his size and strength can translate to goals, too.
Minnesota United forward Angelo Rodriguez (9) maneuvered the ball past New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson for a goal in a game on Sept. 29, 2018

Minnesota United's Angelo Rodriguez is back to prove he's a scorer

The designated player has been limited by injuries.
Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns and Thunder guard Russell Westbrook battled for the ball in the first half Tuesday night.

Towns scores 41 points as Wolves drown out the Thunder

Karl-Anthony Towns turned in a 41-point, 14-rebound performance despite early foul trouble. That gives him 182 points in five games since he returned from missing two games because of a car accident.
Romain Metanire was third on the team with 91 touches on Saturday in Vancouver.

Metanire's defense for Minnesota United impresses new goalkeeper

Romain Metanire stood out by defending the box and pushing the attack.
Minnesota United goalkeeper Vito Mannone (1) made a save near teammate Ike Opara (3) during the second half. Mannone, making his Loons debut, turned 3

Loons GK Mannone used to big games on his birthday

Vito Mannone's 31st birthday took him to Vancouver's B.C. Place stadium and his first MLS regular-season game, a 3-2 win for Minnesota United with him in net.

Danladi says he's healthy, but Loons not going to play him yet

The Loons open their season Saturday but United coach Adrian Heath said he'll wait at least another week and "four extra days of real hard work" before Abu Danladi plays.
From front to back: Loons midfielder Ozzie Alonso, defender Romain Metanire, defender Ike Opara and midfielder Jan Gregus.

Defend and deliver: Loons' roster remake will 'accept nothing less' than playoffs

A year after Minnesota United added three South Americans in-season to boost its offense, it fortified this past off-season what coach Adrian Heath terms its defensive "spine," from goaltender all up the lines.
Minnesota United defender Francisco Calvo (5) passed the ball during the first half of the team’s friendly against New York City FC on Feb. 20 in Or

Defensive additions leave Loons' Calvo on the left

Francisco Calvo prefers the center position but says he's happy to do what's best for the team, newly infused with MLS veteran Ike Opara and French right back Roman Metanire.
Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath cited a lack of injuries and “a lot of positives’’ from the team’s preseason training.

United, with just one preseason goal allowed, back home

Coach Adrian Heath liked what he saw Saturday against Orlando City in a closed-door scrimmage in which the newly stingy Loons gave up their first goal in six contests.
Minnesota United forward Romario Ibarra attempted a shot on goal in the first half against the Portland Timbers last September

Romario Ibarra leads Loons' charge away from the ball

Ibarra acknowledges "my strength is my speed" and throughout preseason training sessions Heath has prodded, urging Ibarra to run from, not toward, the ball.
Minnesota United FC goalie Dayne St. Clair stopped a shot on goal during the second half

Rookie keeper is lone bright spot in Loons' preseason victory

Rookie goalkeeper and seventh overall draft pick Dayne St. Clair started in goal for the Loons, and delivered the team's fourth clean sheet of the exhibition season.
Minnesota United forward Mason Toye attempted a shot on goal in front of Orlando City defender Amro Tarek during the second half of an MLS match in Ma

Stronger Toye aims to show Minnesota United he's wiser, too

The talented second-year striker, just 20 years old, spent much of the winter in the weight and film rooms, seeking to push more experienced players for more playing time this season.
Jason Day is the third player in the world rankings’ top 15 who has committed to play in the inaugural 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine this Jul

Big day for 3M Open: Jason Day commits to play

The 31-year-old Australian is the third player in the world rankings' top 15 who has committed to play at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine in July.
Minnesota United midfielder Miguel Ibarra celebrated a goal against Toronto FC on July 4 last summer. Ibarra scored Saturday in a preseason win over N

Ibarra scores, Loons defense remains strong in 1-0 win over New England

Saturday's 1-0 result in the Orlando City Invitational was the Loons' third consecutive clean sheet in preseason play for a team that allowed 71 goals last season.
New Minnesota United goalkeeper Vito Mannone has some immigration paperwork in England to complete, which might keep him out of Saturday's preseason g

New Loons goalkeeper Mannone absent for travel issues

Immigration paperwork in England might keep him out of Saturday's final preseason game against Orlando City.
New draft pick Chase Gasper, center, has impressed coaches with his poise and maturity. He leapt out to defend during a Minnesota United scrimmage las

Loons' trio of SuperDraft picks drawing high praise

Preseason training by goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair, defender Chase Gasper and midfielder Hassani Dotson have earned glowing assessments from coach Adrian Heath.
New Minnesota United goalkeeper Vito Mannone signed a scarf for a fan after he joined the team in showing off new kits, or uniforms, for the 2019 seas

Loons goalkeeper Mannone gets a Minnesota welcome

Italian born and raised, Mannone has left behind a professional career built in England's Premier League and second division for MLS.
Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath applauded his players after practice on Jan. 22 at their practice facility in Blaine.

Loons shaping up on defense with new pieces

Coach Adrian Heath liked what he saw from the Loons' defense-minded acquisitions during the team's recently completed preseason training trip.
Goalkeeper Vito Mannone, playing for Sunderland in an English Premier League soccer match in January 2016.

Goalkeeper Mannone heading to Loons as key part of club overhaul

The Italian veteran is the fifth major addition since December to a team that coach Adrian Heath now says 'can play against anyone in the league.'
Newly acquired Jan Gregus chased after Ozzie Alonso as he dribbled the ball up the field in Minnesota United's training session Jan. 22 at its practic

Loons newcomers Gregus, Alonso start to bond in rebuilt midfield

Jan Gregus, the Loons' third designated player, and four-time MLS all-star Ozzie Alonso are central to the team's efforts to shore up its leaky defense.
Si Woo Kim

Two Players Championship titlists commit to 3M Open

Players have until June 28 — the Friday afternoon before tournament week — to commit and can withdraw at any time.
Easy-going Manley hopes to play with an edge for Loons

Easy-going Manley hopes to play with an edge for Loons

Loons coach Adrian Heath has made it clear he expects more from recent draft picks Abu Danladi, Mason Toye, Wyatt Omsberg and Carter Manley
Bryson DeChambeau was the first player to officially commit to the 3M Open, Minnesota's first regular PGA Tour event in 50 years.

3M Open seeks top players' commitments in a busy PGA Tour schedule

Minnesota's first PGA Tour event in 50 years comes late in the PGA Tour schedule that has been reshuffled and condensed to ensure the season-ending FedEx playoffs finish by Labor Day.
Newly acquired defender Ike Opara is ready to begin practice Thursday with the Loons.

Opara brings Minnesota ties, vows to help United 'turn this ship around'

Ike Opara's father worked at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester before he was born, and United's newest player spent four days in town over the holidays visiting his fiancé's sister.
Minnesota United midfielder Rasmus Schuller

Schuller hoping there's still room for him in United's crowded midfield

Rasmus Schuller scored twice as the Loons opened preseason play with Tuesday's 9-2 friendly victory over first-year USL League One team FC Tucson.
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