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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 FC defender Michael Boxall stretched out before a run around Bde Maka Ska earlier this week.

Worlds apart from loved ones, Minnesota United players bunker down and hope

Isolation is harder to embrace for Minnesota United's international players, whose families are thousands of miles away.
Golfers hit Stonebrooke Golf Club in Shakopee Thursday. The course was open with guidelines on how to stay in compliance with social distancing, but i

Playing through? Golf group wants courses open during stay-at-home order

Golfers played Thursday in Shakopee and New Prague, which remained open while others were shut down. The stay-at-home order goes into effect this weekend.
Minnesota United supporters waved their flags and held up their scarves before the start of a game last season.

'Red Loons' fan group blasts United over treatment of idled workers

On Twitter, the supporters group Red Loons posted, "Sad to report @MNUFC has the WORST response to the COVID-19 crisis in MLS." The team declined comment.
Matthew Wolff poses with the 3M Open trophy after winning the event last July at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine.

Delaying Olympics bodes well for 3M Open field if pandemic subsides

Golf tournaments with $75 million in prize money have been affected by coronavirus shutdowns. That means star players will likely enter as many remaining events as they can to earn lucrative FedEx Cup points.
Minnesota United fans waved scarves at last April’s home opener at Allianz Field.

Loons' season pushed back further; MLS vows to play full schedule

Minnesota United players have taken to outdoor runs, workouts in their apartments or running apartment stairs to remain fit.
Workers prepared Allianz Field before last year's home opener. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's unclear when this year's home opener will take p

Minnesota United supporters sad but respect process with home opener canceled

Disappointment and patience clash among loyal Loons fans.
Minnesota United fans watched from the stands at last season's home opener against New York City at Allianz Field, but after a 2-0 start on the road t

Home momentum on standby for Minnesota United

After a 2-0 start, four home games were to be next.
Minnesota United’s second home opener at Allianz Field, and fourth in Major League Soccer, has been postponed.

Loons home opener, up to three more games postponed as MLS halts season

The MLS announced a 30-day suspension of its season, joining other pro sports leagues trying to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Minnesota United was scheduled to host its home opener on Sunday in St. Paul.
Minnesota United's Ike Opara scored two goals and a former teammate's jersey in the Loons' 5-2 victory over San Jose on Saturday.

Opara has big night, bragging rights in Loons' 5-2 win at San Jose

Minnesota United defender Ike Opara left Earthquakes Stadium on Saturday with two goals and a souvenir: former teammate Chris Wondolowski's game jersey.

Minnesota United's Hassani Dotson, Mason Toye eyed for possible national team call-ups this month

The 20-man Olympic qualifying roster will be named by Tuesday.
Aaron Schoenfeld, a late sub in Minnesota United’s season-opening win, said, “I think I can do more than close.”

Schoenfeld returns stateside, helps close out Loons win

Aaron Schoenfeld, a 6-4 striker, spent the past four years playing in Israel.
Minnesota United forward Luis Amarilla celebrated his go-ahead goal in the 76th minute of the Loons' 3-1 season-opening victory over Portland on Sunda

Minnesota United opens fourth MLS season with 3-1 victory at Portland

Kevin Molino and newcomer Luis Amarilla carried the Loons to their season-opening victory.
Minnesota United forward Luis Amarilla controlled the ball during the second half of the Loons' 3-1 victory over Portland on Sunday in the team's seas

Newly acquired Amarilla, Schoenfeld give Loons more options up front

Toye was odd man out in Loons opener, but his chance will come.
Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath says new goalkeeper Tyler Miller is "better than I thought." Miller made his Loons debut in Sunday’s season open

Loons goalkeeper Miller has his coach's confidence

Minnesota United traded $200,000 in combined allocation money to LAFC and signed Tyler Miller to a three-year contract with a team option for a fourth season.
Minnesota United forward Luis Amarilla, reacting after scoring a goal in a preseason match against the New England Revolution, declared he’ll score

Is brash Amarilla the finisher for goal-starved Loons?

New striker Luis Amarilla said he'll score 25 goals for the Loons, and he's not backing off a bit. "He'll probably be MVP of the league if he gets 25," coach Adrian Heath said. "Which would be nice."
Minnesota United midfielder Jan Gregus during a preseason match against the New England Revolution on Feb. 16 at Providence Park in Portland.

'Mr. Hollywood' Jan Gregus more assertive entering year two with Loons

Offseason martial arts training and a year of MLS experience have the Loons' midfielder being eyed for scoring more goals with his booming shot.
Thomas Chacon.

Chacon's 'it' factor finding its way into Loons' goals

Uruguayan teenager Thomas Chacon has started his first MLS season with nifty footwork and offense.
Minnesota United’s Brent Kallman (right) has resumed preseason training with his teammates after being suspended for using a banned substance last S

Midway through suspension, Loons' Kallman works on getting healthy

Starting with the dark days of last fall when his 10-match suspension started, veteran defender Brent Kallman found purpose and time.
Emanuel Reynoso is close to a deal with the Loons.

Reynoso, Loons are 'minor details' away from a deal

According to sources, Emanuel Reynoso will come to Minnesota and MLS on a club-record $5.5 million transfer fee and will be signed for the next five seasons as one of the team's three allowed "designated players."
Minnesota United midfielder Ethan Finlay (13, right) celebrated after scoring a goal in the second half as midfielder Kevin Molino (7) and forward Ang

Loons' Molino, Finlay looking better in second year after injuries

Kevin Molino and Ethan Finlay returned last season from knee surgeries. Born fewer than two months apart, both now are 29 amid signs that each is getting back to the player he was before surgery.
Luis Amarilla of Ecuador's Universidad Catolica, left, competed during a Copa Sudamericana match last August.

Amarilla promises to provide scoring touch that Loons have lacked

When Minnesota United executives analyzed last season, they concluded what their team lacked most was goal scorers. That's where Luis Amarilla fits in for 2020.
Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath

Loons moving in on Argentine midfielder Reynoso

Coach Adrian Heath says he hopes to land the 24-year-old "in the next week or so."
Fred Emmings, a 6-5 sophomore at St. Paul Central, practiced with Minnesota United in Blaine after signing a pro contract and trained in Florida with

Homegrown, not done growing: Loons' 6-5 keeper no clumsy teenager

St. Paul Central sophomore Fred Emmings signed a pro contract with Minnesota United and has been training with the team in Florida, all before he could even consider getting a driver's license.
Minnesota United midfielder and union player rep Ethan Finlay said the new labor deal “impacts every single player in our league, every single desti

'Monumental' new MLS-labor deal hailed by players for giving clubs more freedom

The five-year agreement means expanded free agency, higher player minimum salaries and more flexibility for clubs in how they spend money to acquire players.
New Zealand natives and Minnesota United teammates Michael Boxall (15), Noah Billingsley (2) and James Musa (41) stretched during a practice last Frid

Three's not a crowd for Minnesota United's collection of Kiwis

New Zealander Michael Boxall has been joined by fellow countrymen James Musa, via free-agent signing, and draft pick Noah Billingsley. "You can't have too many,'' coach Adrian Heath said.
Minnesota United midfielder Robin Lod tried to score on a corner kick at Allianz Field.

Fit to be tried: Loons' Lod aims to prove he's worth the money

The Finnish midfielder looks to settle in, contribute more in 2020.
Former Minnesota United midfielder Miguel Ibarra met his childhood idol Kobe Bryant in a chance encounter in a training room when Ibarra attended coll

In L.A., former Loons' fan favorite Ibarra devastated by loss of his idol

The Southern California soccer player grew up adoring Kobe Bryant, collecting jerseys and sneakers bearing his name, and credited a chance encounter with the NBA star for changing his life.
New Minnesota United striker Luis Amarilla, left, fights for the ball with Juan Sanchez Mino of Argentina's Independiente during a Copa Sudamericana m

Striker Amarilla signs, will bring 'a little bit of everything' to Loons

The 24-year-old Paraguayan attacker is expected to fill a scoring need for Minnesota United and bring more athleticism to its lineup.
Ozzie Alonso (6) of Minnesota United celebrated after scoring a goal in a Sept. 25 match against Sporting Kansas City at Allianz Field. “We have to

Alonso: Loons 'have to make next step,' win MLS Cup

The 34-year-old centerpiece of Minnesota United's first winning season said the team has the needed youth, talent and experience.
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.