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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
Angelo Rodriguez (9) of Minnesota United FC fought for the ball with Daniel Steres, left, of L.A. Galaxy in the Loons’ first home playoff game on Oc

Loons return ex-designated player Rodriguez to Colombia

A self-professed scorer who inevitably didn't score enough goals, Angelo Rodriguez scored nine goals in 39 games over two seasons with United
Minnesota United’s new goalkeeper Tyler Miller took part in practice Tuesday at the National Sports Center in Blaine.

Youthful new Loons goalkeeper Miller 'couldn't be happier'

At 26, Tyler Miller is part of a movement with a United team that coach Adrian Heath acknowledges must get younger and more athletic.
Sean McAuley, Minnesota United assistant coach. Photo courtesy Minnesota United

Loons sign first homegrown player, add Sean McAuley as assistant coach

McAuley, most recently an assistant coach at Orlando City, fills the vacancy created when Mark Watson was named the Loons' technical director.
60 years ago: When the Minneapolis Lakers plane crash-landed in a cornfield

60 years ago: When the Minneapolis Lakers plane crash-landed in a cornfield

Among the fans at Saturday's Timberwolves game was Harold Gifford, 96, one of the pilots on a plane that narrowly averted tragedy when it came down in an Iowa cornfield.
Mason Toye, entering his third season with Minnesota United, scored six goals in MLS play last season.

Five questions facing Minnesota United as training opens Monday

After making the MLS playoffs with an improved defense, Minnesota United faces a key need at the other end of the pitch: Who's going to score?
Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath celebrated the Loons’ 2-1 victory over Portland in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals Aug. 7 at Allianz Field in St. P

Heath signs contract extension with Minnesota United

After the team's successful MLS season in 2019, the Loons have restructured team management to give coach Adrian Heath a bigger role in player personnel decisions.
James Musa

Loons add New Zealand midfielder Musa with training set to begin

The 27-year-old is a defensive midfielder or defender who has his green card.
Tyler Miller, the new goalkeeper for Minnesota United, had an 18-2 record last season for Los Angeles FC, which earned the Supporters’ Shield but tr

Loons get starting keeper Miller in trade with LAFC; other deals done

Tyler Miller signed a three-year deal. The Loons also have reached agreements with Paraguayan striker Luis Amarilla and USL Championship defensive midfielder/center back James Musa.
Joe Hart gestures to his teammates during the English Premier League soccer match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor Stadium in 2018.

Loons eye ex-Man City keeper Hart after offers rejected by Mannone

A Loons official said its offers to Vic Mannone would have made the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year the league's most highly compensated. The Loons also selected a versatile New Zealand defender in the MLS SuperDraft.
Minnesota United is reportedly pursuing Luis Amarilla of Ecuador’s Universidad Catolica, left, shown in a game last August in Quito. The 24-year-old

Loons prepare for college draft, also hoping to fill immediate needs

Nine days before players report for a new season, Minnesota United will try its luck in the MLS draft while, at the same time, looking to fill some needs with veterans.
Kevin Love is qualified to lead, he figures: “I know so much more now that I wish I could tell my younger self.”

Love is wiser, more mature with Cavs - and he has a ring

Kevin Love has spent as many seasons in Cleveland — six — as he did for a Timberwolves team that acquired him in a 2008 draft-night trade but never reached the playoffs with him as its star.
Minnesota Timberwolves’ Shabazz Napier (13) and Cleveland Cavaliers’ Collin Sexton (2) go after a loose ball as Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tristan Tho

With top two players sidelined, Wolves fall to Cavaliers

No Karl-Anthony Towns and no Andrew Wiggins meant no victory, for the 12th time in 13 games.
Wolves center Gorgui Dieng last week in Denver.

Karl-Anthony Towns' absence keeps Timberwolves' Gorgui Dieng firing away

He had found his shooting stroke in recent games.
Minnesota United fans cheered during the second half. of a game last summer.

Loons 2020 schedule released, includes six games on national TV

The Loons' 2020 regular season schedule, released Thursday, includes what portends to be a chilly four-game homestand in March and early April.
Minnesota United decided to not exercise a 2020 contract option on fan favorite and longtime midfielder Loon Miguel. It's still possible he could retu

Loons decline option for 'heart and soul' fan favorite Ibarra

Minnesota United still could retain Miguel Ibarra, its longest-tenured player, with a lesser deal.
Gophers right side hitter Stephanie Samedy, shown during a home match in September.

Gophers lose five-set volleyball match to Nebraska

The Cornhuskers won the first two sets before the U battled back, then buckled.
Gophers outside hitter Airi Miyabe (8) and middle blocker Regan Pittman (21) went up for a block attempt against Wisconsin. Miyabe left her native Jap

U needed only one look to decide Miyabe was true volleyball talent

Airi Miyabe left Japan to learn a new language, experience another culture and traditions, and to develop her skills at Minnesota while playing volleyball at the highest NCAA levels.
Abu Danladi (99) of Minnesota United FC took a shot in the first half of a friendly against Bundesliga team Hertha Berlin on May 22 at Allianz Field.

Loons lose injury-prone Danladi to Nashville in MLS expansion draft

Minnesota United took the UCLA star first in the 2017 SuperDraft before its inaugural season, hoping he would become a centerpiece for its future.
Philadelphia Union's Alejandro Bedoya, right — an MLS Players Association bargaining-committee member — has endorsed in labor-contract conversatio

As MLS expands, players want charter air travel, 'truer' free agency

They're among issues on the bargaining table, trying to reach a new labor deal for a sport in an aspiring "league of choice."
Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck, left, is escorted back to the sideline by an official after running onto the field.

No apologies from Fleck for penalty after running on field

The coach's on-field dash to check on wide receiver Tyler Johnson drew a penalty following a controversial play when Johnson took a late hit after dropping a pass.
Chaska’s Nic Snuggerud kicked a 52-yard field goal to give the Hawks a 17-0 halfime lead in a Class 5A semifinal.

Chaska dominates Coon Rapids to advance to Class 5A title game

He caught a 97-yard TD and kicked a 52-yard FG.
Wisconsin celebrated a point scored against the Gophers in the second set Thursday.

Volleyball Border Battle for first place goes to the Badgers

Both sides entered the match 13-1 and tied for first place in the Big Ten before Wisconsin defeated Minnesota for the second time this season.
Minnesota United midfielder Darwin Quintero came into the Oct. 20 playoff game against LA Galaxy as a second-half substitute, a game the Loons lost 2-

Loons trade Quintero to Houston for Hairston, $600,000 allocation money

The team's first high-paid designated player did not start in the team's two biggest games in 2019. The Loons will receive midfielder Marlon Hairston and $600,000 in allocation money.
Minnesota United midfielder Darwin Quintero came in as a second-half subsitute in the Loons’ first-round playoff game loss against LA Galaxy on Oct.

Midfielder Quintero says he's done with Loons; team won't comment

Considered Minnesota United's biggest building block just a season ago, star midfielder Darwin Quintero posted on social media that he will not return in 2020.
Sara Scalia (14) was fouled by Vermont forward Abby Settelmeyer (25) while shooting in the fourth quarter. Scalia finished with 9 points.

U women rebound from season-opening defeat, thump Vermont

Five days after a season-opening home loss, the 23rd-ranked Gophers women's basketball team started better, defended better and rebounded better.

Longtime Heath assistant Watson brings broad soccer experience

Adrian Heath and Mark Watson have worked together since Watson was Heath's assistant at Orlando City in 2014.
Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath will remain coach, but will have more input in personnel decisions concerning United’s “first team,” the 20

Minnesota United adjusts front office roles for Heath, Lagos

Coach Adrian Heath will have more input in personnel decisions concerning top players while sporting director Manny Lagos will get a new title focused on the team's future.
Edina players were jumping up while several from East Ridge were down on the turf after Oscar Smythe’s goal put the Hornets ahead 2-1.

CLASS 2A BOYS EDINA 2, EAST RIDGE 1 | State champ Edina finishes 22-0

Oscar Smythe scored both goals for the Hornets, who trailed only once this year.
Centennial’s Brittany Bordson and Kelley Kloncz, who scored Maple Grove’s first goal, fought for a ball in the first half.

Emma Fournier's goal, assist lead Maple Grove to its first Class 2A girls' soccer title

A hold-up player who controls the ball and sometimes the game with her feet, junior midfielder Emma Fournier proved in Maple Grove's 2-1 victory over…
Gophers defensive back Coney Durr celebrated his 72-yard interception return for a touchdown against Maryland on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.

Picks again helping Gophers click

Two early interceptions on Saturday put the Gophers in firm control over Maryland.
Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Joe Corona, left, and Minnesota United midfielder Rasmus Schuller battled for the ball in April.

Loons decline option on five players, already reshaping next season's roster

Rasmus Schuller, A Finnish national-team member, was among the players let go.
Minnesota United goalkeeper Vito Mannone (1) blocked a shot in the first half of a game against Orlando City on Aug. 17 at Allianz Field.

Loons' Vito Mannone named MLS top goalkeeper

The Premier League veteran becomes the second Minnesota United player to receive a top defensive award, reflecting the team's dramatic improvement giving up fewer goals.
Minnesota United designated player Darwin Quintero came on as a second-half substitution in the team’s first MLS playoff game Sunday against L.A. Ga

'Big decisions' ahead for Loons: Seven questions facing the team

Proud but disappointed after his team's first-round playoff loss, Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath promised there will be changes for the 2020 season.
Sebastian Lletget of LA Galaxy scored a goal in the second half.

Two Galaxy goals in four minutes knock out Loons from playoffs

Minnesota United controlled the action for Sunday's first 71 minutes, but failed to convert on several prime scoring chances before its opponents took command.
Giancarlo Gonzalez of the LA Galaxy grabbed Chase Gasper of Minnesota United in the first half.

Allianz Field survives rapid transition from football to futbol

Allianz Field's grounds crew worked overnight Saturday manicuring grass that had been laid only three weeks ago into game condition after St. John's and St. Thomas played a college football game.
Loons fans wave their scarves at Allianz Field

History-making MLS playoff game comes to Allianz Field

The stage is set for the first MLS playoff game in Minnesota United history. "Every moment matters, right?" said United veteran midfielder Ethan Finlay, who played seven playoff games with Columbus in 2014 and 2015.
Officials attempted to repair damaged turf after a rough play in the fourth quarter.

'We kind of tore it up': Allianz Field turf takes a beating after St. John's-St. Thomas game

Concern over the turf existed even before the St. John's-St. Thomas game.
If at first you don't concede: Loons' stingy defensive spine is playoff key

If at first you don't concede: Loons' stingy defensive spine is playoff key

The Loons' playoff success, starting against L.A. Galaxy's star-studded scoring power, hinges on its meticulously acquired and highly successful trio of defensive stalwarts.
Minnesota United defender Ike Opara attempted to regain control of the ball in a game against Portland on Aug. 4. Opara, acquired before the season, w

Opara leads United turnaround, wins MLS top defender award for second time

Ike Opara, who won the honor in 2017 with Sporting Kansas City, helped lead Minnesota United's defensive transformation after its first two goal-ridden seasons in MLS.
Los Angeles Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic claps after tying the score against the Seattle Sounders during an MLS soccer game on Sept. 1 at CenturyLink

Minnesota United's biggest, brashest playoff obstacle is all about Zlatan

L.A.. Galaxy superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whose trophy-studded career carved in Europe made him MLS' highest-paid player, stands 6-5 and plays a dominating style on and off the pitch.
Thomas Chacon continues to work hard in training, for a Loons opportunity that could come during the MLS playoffs.

Amid so much change, Loons' Chacon embraces snow

Thomas Chacon, the Loons' 19-year-old Uruguayan newcomer, adjusts to America as he and the team take the soccer slowly.
The Loons’ Jan Gregus is among players headed off to help national teams.

Minnesota United heads into pre-playoff break with some players not taking a break

Loons players depart with no worries, as MLS playoffs no longer conflict with FIFA break.
Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris, right, eyes the ball as Minnesota United's Ike Opara, left, closes in during the first half

Loons shut out in season finale; will host LA Galaxy in MLS playoffs

Seattle on Sunday topped the Loons 1-0 and Houston's victory over LA Galaxy put Minnesota into fourth place and a home playoff date.

Single goal cost Loons two spots in standings

Sunday's 1-0 loss at Seattle determined who'd finish second and earn conceivably two home playoff games.
Ozzie Alonso has helped transform the Loons on defense. A team that allowed 70 and 71 goals in its first two MLS seasons has 11 shutouts and allowed 4

Loons leader Alonso expects 'emotional' return to Seattle

The Loons will secure at least one home playoff game if they win or possibly if they tie Sunday in Ozzie Alonso's return to Seattle, where he starred for a decade.
Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath is in the discussion for MLS Coach of the Year honors for the team’s improved play this season.

Improved play for Loons puts many in individual award talk

Newcomers to this year's team dot several MLS categories, led by former Defender of the Year Ike Opara, who is a threat to win it again.
Minnesota FC defender Ike Opara (3) attempted to regain control of the ball against Portland in the first half of a match on Aug. 4 at Allianz Field.

Minnesota United victory on Sunday would make 'taste' of playoffs even sweeter

Before Minnesota United plays the first playoff game in its MLS history in two weeks, it will play another Sunday at Seattle.Win and the Loons…
Minnesota United forward Angelo Rodriguez (9) missed a chance at a goal as Eddie Segura of Los Angeles defended Sunday at Allianz Field.

Striker Rodriguez gives Minnesota United big second-half lift

The veteran striker came on after halftime in a 1-1 tie against LAFC on Sunday and gave the team a boost.
Loons midfielder Jan Gregus headed the ball towards a teammate over Real Salt Lake

Allianz Field turf will undergo hasty renovation

The grass, hurt by a drainage issue, will be replaced and is expected to be ready for mid-October appointments.
Loons defender Michael Boxall scored the tying goal in the second half at Allianz Field.

Loons draw with LAFC; can still gain home playoff game

Michael Boxall's header in the game's 75th minute was the equalizer after LAFC star Carlos Vela tied MLS's single-season scoring record by getting his 31st goal in the 67th minute.
Hassani Dotson scored in the second half of the Loons' MLS playoffs-clinching game earlier this week.

MLS playoffs: The Loons are in, but it's a whole new show this year

Minnesota United's first trip to postseason comes amid change in the playoffs. The playoff bracket will be known on "Decision Day," the regular season's finale next Sunday.

Loons' first MLS playoff game will be Heath's first, too

Minnesota United's 90th-minute victory over Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday made a little history and sent it on to the MLS playoffs. But it wasn't…
Ozzie Alonso (left) and Chase Gasper (right) of Minnesota United celebrated after Alonso scored a goal in the second half Wednesday against Sporting K

Goggle-free celebration 'just the start' for playoff-bound Loons

An ice shower but "nothing huge'' was about as crazy as it got after the Loons clinched their first MLS postseason berth.
Hassani Dotson of Minnesota United shot the ball past Sporting Kansas City Adrian Zendejas for the game-winning goal.

Goal in 90th minute clinches Minnesota United's first-ever playoff berth

Rookie Hassani Dotson scored the game-winner by showing both poise and patience, setting off the biggest celebration in Minnesota United's three-year MLS history.
Toye remains a Loons starter through recent scoring slump

Toye remains a Loons starter through recent scoring slump

Mason Toye started his seventh consecutive game Wednesday against while Abu Danladi was a substitute and veteran Angelo Rodriguez and newcomer Thomas Chacon again didn't get called.
Minnesota United fans sang “Wonderwall” after their team’s 3-1 victory against Real Salt Lake on Sept. 15 at Allianz Field in St. Paul.

Win and they're in: Loons can clinch first MLS playoff berth tonight

Minnesota United can make team history by beating Sporting Kansas City tonight at Allianz Field. A few other outcomes around the league tonight could also get the team through.
Minnesota United defender Lawrence Olum (right) defended as FC Dallas midfielder Brandon Servania tried to advance the ball during the second half of

Calmness with class: Loons' Olum plays team DJ, too

An illness and a player suspension put versatile center back Lawrence Olum on the field Sunday and he could play again Wednesday as the Loons try to clinch a playoff spot.
United coach Adrian Heath demands that his team be ready to play.

Dazzling or flat, mystifying Minnesota United knows it can play

A playoff berth is now a victory away, but the Loons still needs to avoid inexcusable lapses.
Minnesota United midfielder Hassani Dotson celebrated a goal earlier this season.

Minnesota United's Mason Toye, Hassani Dotson have hopes to compete in 2020 Olympics

The two Loons players have boosted their chances to play for the United States next year in Tokyo, if the Americans can make it.
Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath last month.

Minnesota United can clinch playoff berth Sunday with a win, help

The Loons need to beat Portland and have either San Jose or Dallas lose.
Minnesota United defender Brent Kallman will miss the rest of the season on suspension.

Kallman says he's 'paying the consequences' with 10-game MLS suspension

Major League Soccer has suspended Minnesota United veteran defender Brent Kallman for 10 games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
Retired LPGA superstar Annika Sorenstam awarded former Arkansas golfer Maria Fassi the ANNIKA Award — given to the nation’s best female college go

Retired superstar golfer Sorenstam gives back through foundation

Annika Sorenstam was in the Twin Cities on Monday, and she talked about her career, her family, her foundation, Minnesota connections and why she retired in 2008 at age 38.
Metanire, back from national team, provides Loons a spark

Metanire, back from national team, provides Loons a spark

Romain Metanire made the hustle play that saved the ball along the sideline and created Darwin Quintero's eventual winning goal early in the second half.
Minnesota United FC goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair

Loons rookie St. Clair embodies 'sweeper keepers' redefining soccer

At 22, Dayne St. Clair is from a generation that never has known a time when goalkeepers used their hands to play a ball passed back to them by a teammate.
MLS West remains tight squeeze for Loons, everyone else

MLS West remains tight squeeze for Loons, everyone else

Once in second place, United — and every team around it — is in danger of missing the playoffs by the time "Decision Day" and the regular-season finale on Oct. 6.
New Minnesota goalkeeper coach Stewart Kerr, right, works with backup rookie goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair on the field Wednesday at Houston.

New Loons GK coach brings pedigree to quest of molding goalkeepers

Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath, who has hired Stewart Kerr previously, sees him as the ideal mentor for talented rookie Dayne St. Clair.
Minnesota United forward Abu Danladi

Chacon starts, Loons draw 2-2 vs. Mexican side CF Pachuca in friendly

Thomas Chacon missed on a penalty kick but he had a hand in Abu Danladi's goal in the 78th minute, which got the Loons even in front of a sell-out home crowd.
Toward the end of Minnesota United’s training session Friday, players engaged in a fun game of skill called ''soccer tennis,'' in which they kick a

Trash-talking goes thigh-high with Loons' energetic mashup game

It's called soccer tennis, but think volleyball with your feet and head. And no referee. But for Minnesota United players, there's plenty of laughing and, more seriously, skill development.
Loons' Chacon to get first start in friendly with Mexican side Pachuca

Loons' Chacon to get first start in friendly with Mexican side Pachuca

Minnesota United fans will get their first long look at newly signed Uruguayan teenager Thomas Chacon on Saturda
Carli Lloyd celebrated her first goal as the U.S. women's national team took took on Portugal at Allianz Field

Carli Lloyd scores twice again in visit to Minnesota

Every time Carli Lloyd comes to Minnesota, all she does is score twice and win.
United States star midfielder Megan Rapinoe went through a warmup at Allianz Field with her World Cup teammates with no worries Monday. Rapinoe, the G

U.S. women's soccer team brings its World Cup Victory Tour to Allianz

The World Cup heroes have been showered with goodwill leading up to Tuesday's friendly against Portugal at Minnesota United's home pitch.
Minnesota United FC coach Adrian Heath (shown in a July game against New Mexico United at Allianz Field) earned his 50th MLS victory with the Loons' 2

Loons strengthen playoff push with 'magnificent' victory

Five days after it lost a U.S. Open Cup final 2-1 at Atlanta, Minnesota United altered its formation and delivered its biggest victory this season.

Loons' Dotson, Toye picked for U.S. team aimed at Olympics

Rookie Hassani Dotson and second-year striker Mason Toye will join the national team for training in Chula Vista, Calif., after the Loons' game Sunday at LAFC
Minnesota United forward Darwin Quintero, shown trying to get supporters into a game earlier this season, said he was frustrated and hurt about not st

Loons' star Quintero upset about not starting team's biggest game

Minnesota United's first designated player said he wasn't expecting the move in the U.S. Open Cup final after scoring six goals in the team's first four tournament games.
Megan Rapinoe, center, is joined by teammates on the U.S. women's national soccer team during a celebratory rally at City Hall following a ticker-tape

Rapinoe, three other stars out for Thursday's U.S. victory tour match

Five days before its "Victory Tour" arrives at Allianz Field, the World Cup-winning U.S. women's national team will play Portugal without four of its high-profile players.