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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
Seattle Sounders midfielder Joao Paulo (6) celebrates with forward Raul Ruidiaz (9) and midfielder Josh Atencio, right, after Paulo scored a goal agai

'Cruel game': Loons open season with 4-0 loss at Seattle

Seeking revenge at Lumen Field four months after its season abruptly ended there in the MLS Western Conference final, Minnesota United instead endured a second-half thrashing.
Minnesota FC defender Ike Opara

Injured Ike Opara remains on Minnesota United FC roster

The standout defender played in only two games last season.
Emanuel Reynoso last season became the first player in MLS history with multiple three-assist playoff games. “He was so good for us,” coach Adrian

Singular talent Reynoso poised to elevate Loons even more

Minnesota United star Emanuel Reynoso meets 2021 with a world of talent and a loss to live down as the Loons open their season tonight at the site of last year's stunning finish.
Meet the new Loons for the 2021 season

Meet the new Loons for the 2021 season

Eight new players dot this year's roster.
Bucks forward Mamadi Diakite pushed away the arm of Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jarred Vanderbilt while trying to dunk in the fourth quarter.

Bucks play without Giannis, rout Timberwolves anyway

Karl-Anthony Towns wasn't in the Minnesota lineup for the second consecutive game - both afternoon starts - but, "that's not an excuse," Wolves rookie guard Anthony Edwards said.
Ramon Abila

Loons land high-scoring Argentine striker Ramon Abila

"Wanchope" comes to the Loons on a one-season loan with an option to buy his rights. He scored 41 goals in 88 games during six Argentina first-division seasons
D’Angelo Russell returned to the Wolves lineup on Monday against Sacramento after he spent two months rehabbing from knee surgery.

Looking ahead: Russell's return means Wolves can experiment

Playing D'Angelo Russell with Karl-Anthony Towns gives coach Chris Finch a chance to prepare for next season.
Russell returns — as do fans — as Timberwolves defeat Sacramento

Russell returns — as do fans — as Timberwolves defeat Sacramento

Point guard D'Angelo Russell scored 13 of his team-high 25 points in the fourth quarter at Target Center.
Wolves guard Malik Beasley will be out 4-6 weeks because of a hamstring injury.

Wolves guard Beasley sidelined 4-6 weeks because of hamstring injury

Malik Beasley will be lost to the Timberwolves for 4-6 weeks after an MRI on Monday revealed the guard had a grade 3 left hamstring injury.
Justin McMaster scored 12 career goals for Wake Forest despite an ACL tear.

Loons sign first-round draft picks McMaster, Kibunguchy

Minnesota United signed first-round draft picks Justin McMaster and Nabilai Kibunguchy on Saturday, and then former Wake Forest striker McMaster went out and scored his second goal in three preseason games.
Memphis’ Dillon Brooks drives against the Timberwolves’ Jaden McDaniels (3), Juancho Hernangomez (41) and Naz Reid in the first half

Win streak escapes Wolves again as Memphis continues its hold at home

After Friday night, the Wolves still haven't won back-to-back games since the start of the season while the Grizzlies now have won 17 of their last 20 against the Wolves at home.
Minnesota United goalkeeper Tyler Miller makes the game-winning save on a penalty kick against the Columbus Crew last July

Loons are deep in goal with Miller back and healthy

Tyler Miller has looked and felt good after August hip surgery.
Damian Roden

'Win-ability' is key word for Loons' training boss Roden

Damian Roden, the Loons' senior director of sports science, has been a jack of all trades.
Hassani Dotson has rejoined the Loons in Florida.

Minnesota United beats Columbus in MLS exhibition in Florida

Coach Adrian Heath thinks team is close to finding a replacement for Kevin Molino.
Emanuel Reynoso of the Loons scored against Seattle during an MLS playoff game on Dec. 7, 2020.

Loons face challenge of a Western Conference-heavy MLS schedule

Of the Loons' 34 games, 32 will be against teams from the strong Western Conference
Wolves guard Malik Beasley gestured after hitting a three-pointer against the Rockets on Saturday, his first game since Feb. 24.

'I learned from my mistakes.' Beasley says he's improved man after suspension

Malik Beasley returned to the starting lineup over the weekend after a 12-game suspension resulting from his guilty plea to making threats of violence outside his home last year.
Rockets forward Sterling Brown passed the ball after getting it from Wolves guard Jaylen Nowell in the second half Saturday.

Wolves get what they deserve this time with blowout loss to Houston

A night after rallying from 19 down, this time the Wolves stayed down.
 Rockets center Kelly Olynyk tried to take a charge but was called for a foul after a collision with the Wolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns on Saturday nigh

Karl-Anthony Towns on Atlanta shootings: 'It doesn't belong in society'

The Wolves star denounced violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Adrian Heath last season.

Minnesota United opens preseason with 9-0 victory over Charleston Battery

Adrian Heath said the team is still hoping to acquire some players before the season begins.
Jackson Yueill of the United States controlled the ball against Uruguay during a friendly in 2019.

Bloomington's Yueill captains U.S. team striving for Olympics

Midfielder Jackson Yueill leads a group facing Honduras on Sunday in a CONCACAF semifinal.
Minnesota United’s 34-game schedule announced on Wednesday includes five nationally televised games, four of them at home in Allianz Field and the t

Minnesota United 2021 schedule includes four nationally televised games at home

The Loons' regular season schedule was released Wednesday, with four of the team's first six games played at Allianz Field before a limited number of fans.
Hassani Dotson (left, shown for Minnesota United vs. Nashville last October) scored twice for the U.S. under-23 national team in a 4-0 victory over th

United's Dotson raises profile with two-goal game for U.S. team

Loons midfielder Hassani Dotson's two goals sparked the Olympic hopefuls in defeating the Dominican Republic.
Ramon Abila of Boca Juniors is reportedly close to joining Minnesota United.

Loons close to acquiring Argentine striker Ramon Abila

Minnesota United is near acquiring Argentine striker Ramon Abila, a former teammate of Loons star Emanuel Reynoso when both played for their famed Boca Juniors club.
Minnesota United has signed Houston Dynamo midfielder Niko Hansen (12), formerly with the Houston Dynamo, to a two-year contract.

Loons sign newly acquired midfielder Niko Hansen to two-year deal

Coach Adrian Heath said the former Houston Dynamo player's versatility will be a big asset for the Loons.
Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards reacts after dunking over Portland’s Robert Covington in the fourth quarter Sunday

Edwards scores career-best 34, Wolves hold off Portland 114-112

The Timberwolves beat the Blazers and ended a six-game home losing streak, sparked by Anthony Edwards hitting six three-pointers and a crushing dunk.
Minnesota United midfielder Hassani Dotson (31) has been named to the U.S. Under-23 men’s national team that will play in the Concacaf Olympic quali

Loons' Dotson to play for U.S. team seeking Olympic bid

The midfielder was chosen to play for the U.S. Under-23 men's national team that will compete in the Concacaf Olympic qualifying starting next week in Mexico.
Coach Adrian Heath is in training with a Loons team that, with some new faces, is aiming at another deep playoff run.

Loons coach Heath: 'A few holes to fill,' and a vow to be better

Now that Minnesota United missed reaching the MLS Cup in December by a mere minute, coach Adrian Heath said there's only one way to improve.
Ossie Alonso

Minnesota United makes Ozzie Alonso signing official

The veteran defensive midfielder gets a one-year deal at age 35.
Patrick Weah, who played high school soccer for Wayzata and lives in Maple Grove, was officially announced Thursday as Minnesota United’s second “

Loons announce signing of 'homegrown player' Patrick Weah

The 17-year-old forward signed a four-year contract with a club option for a fifth year.
Inter Miami forward Juan Agudelo, right, has been signed by Minnnesota United as a free agent in a one-year deal.

Loons sign MLS veteran Agudelo to fill void at striker

Juan Agudelo, who spent much of his MLS career with New England, played last season with new MLS franchise Inter Miami, scoring three goals in 14 games.
New Loons defensive midfielder Wil Trapp

Early Loons start training in Blaine a week ahead of schedule

A "vast majority'' of Minnesota United players showed up Monday, a team statement said, including a mix of veterans from last year's team along with newly acquired defensive midfielder Wil Trapp.
Brent Rooker

Outfielder Rooker doesn't wait long to signal return to power

After breaking his arm last season when he was called up by the Twins, ex-Mississippi State slugger Brent Rooker had surgery.
Patrick Weah, a newly signed professional soccer player at age 17, sharpened his skills with a soccer ball in his room in Maple Grove. “This is what

Loons 'just the beginning' for Twin Cities-raised soccer dreamer Weah

With a royal soccer surname in his home country, a self-help book on his nightstand and a number chosen from scripture, teenager Patrick Weah's path proves the African proverb about raising a child.
Alex Kirilloff, during spring training in 2020

Twins' Kirilloff eager to play again after 'long summer'

Last season brought a second version of spring training for Twins prospects after COVID-19 disrupted everything in March. The games begin again Sunday in Florida.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli gave instructions to players before a drill began Tuesday morning.

Twins gather for first full-squad workout of training camp, but not too closely

Manager Rocco Baldelli addresses the socially distanced group, saying "We're missing nothing, so it's up to us now."
Hollis Cavner, the executive director of the 3M Open, is expecting fans at the event in July.

3M Open plans to have 10,000 people per day for July tournament

Executive director Hollis Cavner will make his pitch to the governor's office in April. Other PGA tournaments are now including fans.
Defender D.J. Taylor has been signed by Minnesota United after he played four years with USL Championship side North Carolina FC.

Minnesota United adds USL Championship defender D.J. Taylor

The 23-year-old, who played for North Carolina FC, is expected to help bolster the team's depth behind veteran right back Romain Metanire.
JEFF WHEELER • Players waited for Minnesota United goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair (97) to join their pregame huddle before

Loons' season opener moved back to April 17, fans at games in doubt

MLS Commissioner Don Garber sounded little near-term optimism about big crowds at stadiums, calling them unlikely "for probably most, if not all, of the season.''
Noel Quinn, director of youth development for Minnesota United’s Youth Development Program, worked recently with prospects at the club’s training

Loons seeking youth soccer players for new MLS development leagues

Minnesota United's Youth Development Program is assessing more than 700 area players to find those good enough to play in 'MLS Next.'
Midfielder Jacori Hayes is among four Minnesota United players to sign new contracts.

Loons sign Jacori Hayes, three others to new contracts

Defenders Brent Kallman and Callum Montgomery and backup goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas also signed new deals.
Minnesota United has acquired the rights to Jukka Raital (front left), former Montreal Impact captain shown in a game against the New England Revoluti

Minnesota United acquires rights to former Montreal Impact captain Jukka Raitala

Raitala, who primarily plays left back, is a former German Bundesliga and Finnish leagues player who was with Montreal for the past three seasons.
Minnesota United capped their 2020 season with a heartbreaking 3-2 loss against Seattle in the Western Conference final. Osvaldo Alonso and the Loons

Minnesota United to open season one month later than usual

MLS announced Monday that teams can begin preseason training on Feb. 2 for opening games on the weekend of April 3-4, a delay owing to the late finish of the pandemic-altered 2020 season.
Justin McMaster

Loons draft Justin McMaster, Nabilai Kibunguchy in MLS SuperDraft

The Loons had the 25th pick, but traded up to get Nos. 17 and 18.
Kevin Molino of the Loons celebrated after scoring on Colorado Rapids on Nov. 22.

Leaving the Loons, midfielder Molino signs with MLS champion Columbus

Kevin Molino had nine goals during the regular season and four in three games during Minnesota United's run to the league semifinals.
Wil Trapp, right, played for Columbus against the Loons and forward Abu Danladi (99) on Oct. 28, 2018.

Minnesota United signs USMNT veteran Trapp

Defensive midfielder Wil Trapp played seven seasons for his hometown Columbus Crew in the MLS.
Veteran midfielder and free agent Kevin Molino late Tuesday night posted an online farewell to Minnesota United and its fans.

In late-night post, Loons star Molino says farewell to Minnesota

Veteran midfielder and Kevin Molino posted an Instagram farewell to Minnesota United and its fans after starring for the club in its first four MLS seasons.
Minnesota United' Emanuel Reynoso, right, celebrates his goal against the Seattle Sounders with teammates Michael Boxall, left, and Jan Gregus during

'Big decisions' ahead after Loons' season ends up with startling thud

Coach Adrian Heath promised progress for a franchise that he said will include roster-changing moves such as the ones that brought star Emanuel Reynoso and defender Bakaye the club.
Seattle Sounders' Cristian Roldan (7) celebrates a Sounders goal late in the second half of an MLS playoff Western Conference final soccer match again

Loons collapse in final minutes; two-goal lead becomes 3-2 loss to Seattle

Leading defending champion Seattle 2-0 after 75 minutes, Minnesota United went from being on the verge of making the MLS Cup title match to a crushing defeat by the Sounders for the Western Conference title.
Minnesota United's Ozzie Alonso, who won two MLS Cups in Seattle, returned to play for the first time against his former team on last season’s final

Seattle coach, Loons' Alonso keep distance for big game

Brian Schmetzer coached four-time MLS All-Star Ozzie Alonso for 10 seasons as a Sounders assistant and head coach and the two have remained friends. But they ignored each other in the days before the Western Conference final.
Loons stay with effective four front in Monday's MLS Western final

Loons stay with effective four front in Monday's MLS Western final

The Loons stay with Robin Lod roaming with Kevin Molino, Emanuel Reynoso and Ethan Finlay that has served them so well in playoffs so far.
Minnesota United midfielder Osvaldo Alonso celebrates after a goal by Bakaye Dibassy during the first half of the team's MLS match against Sporting Ka

Loons head to MLS Western Conference final in a rush

Minnesota United enters Monday's Western Conference final at Seattle with two fewer days to rest and prepare than the opponent, all in the name of growing its league.
Minnesota United forward Luis Amarilla worked between Columbus players in July in the MLS is Back bubble in Florida.

Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath hopes Luis Amarilla will return

The Loons striker, on loan from an Argentinian team, missed most of the 2020 season because of an injury.
Kevin Molino chased a ball during a playoff victory over the Colorado Rapids, part of his run of six goals in three games.

Minnesota United goal scorer Kevin Molino is living up to his 'Hot Boi' nickname

The Loons veteran is on a scoring tear, with help from Emanuel Reynoso.
Minnesota United and Colorado Rapids players vied for control of the ball during a game in October.

Loons could wind up hosting MLS Cup final

Minnesota United will play for the league title at home if eighth-seeded New England wins Sunday at third-seeded Columbus in the Eastern final and if the Loons beat the defending MLS Cup champion Sounders on Monday.
Minnesota United goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair leapt to grab a second half corner kick last month.

St. Clair establishes himself as standout in Loons' playoff surge

Minnesota United goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair had another clean sheet Thursday night as the Loons advanced to the MLS Western Conference final.
Minnesota United midfielder Osvaldo Alonso (6) celebrates after a goal by Bakaye Dibassy during the first half of the team's MLS soccer match against

Loons stun Sporting KC with first-half thunder, move within one game of MLS Cup

Minnesota United scored three times in a 12-minute stretch, winning for the first time ever in Kansas City and moving into Monday night's Western Conference title match in Seattle.

Minnesota United to get little rest after advancing to Western Conference final

Minnesota United's 3-0 victory over top-seeded Sporting Kansas City in a Western Conference semifinal Thursday means the Loons now get only three full days' preparation before Monday's conference final.
Michael Thompson watched his tee shot on No. 14 during the final round of the 3M Open at the TPC in Blaine on July 26.

3M champion Michael Thompson talks about life as a golf 'late bloomer'

The victory in Minnesota opened some doors for the 35-year-old Georgian.
Minnesota FC midfielder and captain Osvaldo Alonso (6) headed the ball back up field in the second half.]

Sporting K.C. missing star striker Alan Pulido tonight vs. Minnesota United

Minnesota United gets starters Ozzie Alonso and Romain Metanire back in its 11 for tonight's MLS Western Conference semifinal while host Sporting Kansas City will play without injured star striker Alan Pulido
The Loons’ Chase Gasper, top, and Sporting KC’s Johnny Russell battled during a 1-0 Minnesota road loss Sept. 13.

'Blue Hell' might not be as hot for Loons in MLS playoff semifinal

Minnesota United knows better than most MLS teams why Sporting Kansas City's home field is called "Blue Hell."
Sporting Kansas City and Minnesota United met at Allianz Field on Aug. 21.

Loons' MLS playoff game moves to fill network's Thursday football spot

The Loons will travel to Kansas City in a game that was moved from Wednesday. It will be shown on FOX as a replacement for a postponed NFL game.
Clockwise from top, Emanuel Reynoso, Robin Lod and Kevin Molino have combined for six goals and nine assists the past three games.

Loons' attackers clicking like never before as next playoff game nears

Robin Lod, Kevin Molino and Emanuel Reynoso have led a charge to 18 goals in past 11 games.

Dotson draws praise from Loons' Heath for his versatility

Hassani Dotson stepped in for Romain Metanire in the Loons' first-round playoff victory.
Hassani Dotson (31) of the Loons battled Sporting Kansas City’s Roger Espinoza during an Aug. 1 game at Allianz Field.

Loons' playoff game at Sporting Kansas City set for Dec. 2

The Loons advanced to the MLS Western Conference semifinals for the first time by beating Colorado Rapids.
Minnesota United is headed for Round 2 of the playoffs, and high-scoring midfielder Kevin Molino (7) is in the running for a contract extension.

Minnesota United spending pays off, with Molino next in line

The Loons' leading scorer will become a free agent when the MLS playoffs end.
Minnesota United midfielder Kevin Molino (7) celebrated his first half goal with teammate midfielder Robin Lod (17) in front of Colorado Rapids goalke

Loons shut down Colorado 3-0 for first win in MLS playoffs

Recently named runner-up for MLS Comeback Player of the Year, veteran midfielder Kevin Molino scored twice and Robin Lod once.
Minnesota United midfielder Kevin Molino (7) celebrates his second goal after beating Colorado Rapids goalkeeper William Yarbrough, right, during an M

Molino restates his case for award gone elsewhere

Starting right back Romain Metanire didn't get back in country from playing for his Madagascar team in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.
Minnesota United midfielder Kevin Molino ran toward teammate Kai Kamara (16) to celebrate after scoring a goal Oct. 3

A long, strange Loons season heads to the MLS playoffs tonight

Minnesota United has dealt with the coronavirus pandemic and injuries, and enters Sunday's playoff game on an eight-game unbeaten streak.
Minnesota United defender Michael Boxall (15) attempted a shot during stoppage time against Sporting Kansas City. ] Min

Boxall returns from rare hiatus for Loons playoff game

Minnesota United veteran defender Michael Boxall missed the past two games after suffering a laceration in a collision with a goalpost.

International quartet expected to be available for Loons playoff game

Jan Gregus, Robin Lod, Romain Metanire and Kei Kamara will have to test negative for COVID-19.
Kei Kamara of the Loons jumped over Houston Dynamo defender Victor Cabrera on Oct. 18.

Returning international players could be eligible for Loons on Sunday

Four United players on international duty look to return for Sunday's game.
FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges marked Minnesota United midfielder Robin Lod (17) on Sunday.

Minnesota United in a playoff bind without four key players

FIFA matches overseas will shelve Loons standouts for Round 1 of playoffs.
Kevin Molino celebrated a goal Sunday against FC Dallas at Allianz Field.

Minnesota United's Molino is MLS player of the week

The midfielder was in on all three goals in Sunday's victory over FC Dallas.
FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges reached to break up a first half pass by Minnesota United midfielder Robin Lod

Four Loons players will miss playoff game for FIFA tournament

Robin Lod and three other starters leave Monday to join their national teams during FIFA's November International Play and none are due back in time for a mandatory quarantine and the start of the playoffs.
Minnesota United midfielder Kevin Molino (7) celebrated his first half goal with teammate midfielder Ethan Finlay (13) and midfielder Robin Lod (17)

Loons earn home playoff berth with Decision Day victory over FC Dallas

Minnesota United advanced to a home playoff game, to be played later this month, for the second consecutive season with Sunday's 3-0 victory over FC Dallas at Allianz Field.