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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 interim coach Sean McAuley instructed players during the team’s game against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Oct. 7 at Allianz Field.

Minnesota United plans to keep McAuley as interim coach, for now

The Loons will start practicing for a new season next month with Sean McAuley remaining as interim coach, the team announced Tuesday.
Minnesota United’s new sporting director and chief soccer officer, Khaled El-Ahmed, will begin working for the Loons after leaving Barnsley FC on De

New Loons soccer boss El-Ahmad ready to leave Barnsley FC on Dec. 15

Khaled El-Ahmad, the Loons' new sporting director and chief soccer officer, came from Sweden, eager to learn, and began building a soccer career at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Loons defender DJ Taylor started 29 of the 30 MLS games he played last season.

Loons sign Taylor to two-year deal and exercise Boxall's option

The Loons finalized their end-of-season in moves that were the first since their hiring of new chief soccer officer Khaled El-Ahmad.
Wolves veteran guard Mike Conley was pointed in the right direction Sunday night in Memphis, where he played his first 12 NBA seasons.

Timberwolves thump Grizzlies behind Mike Conley's double-double

The Wolves won for the 11th time in 13 games and kept Memphis winless at home.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker (9) finished with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists for the Timberwolves in their win over the Knicks.

McDaniels hurts ankle; Alexander-Walker steps up with solid defense

Nickeil Alexander-Walker did a little bit of everything in the Wolves win over the Knicks, scoring in double-digits and working to slow down New York guard Jalen Brunson.
Wolves guard Anthony Edwards soared for a dunk after stealing the inbounds past against the Knicks in the second half.

Best in the West: Wolves first by themselves after smothering Knicks

Beating the Knicks 117-100 maintained the Wolves' perfect record at Target Center and offered more evidence that personnel moves made by the team are paying off big.
Shari Ballard was named Minnesota United CEO on Aug. 10, 2021.

Minnesota United CEO Ballard says GM El-Ahmad will be worth the wait

Loons General Manager Khaled El-Ahmad is under contract with an English club through next summer, which could affect the timeline for the hiring of a new head coach.
Minnesota United midfielder Emanuel Reynoso scored on a penalty kick against Colorado on Aug. 30 at Allianz Field.

Minnesota United returning to Coachella Valley Invitational in February

The Loons will play exhibition games in California, as they did last preseason in MLS' version of spring training.
Khaled El-Ahmad was named Minnesota United’s new Sporting Director and Chief Soccer Officer on Monday.

Loons hire Khaled El-Ahmad from England as chief soccer officer

The Loons filled their vacant general manager's post with Khaled El-Ahmad, who had been CEO and Sporting Director for Barnsley in England's League One.
Minnesota United midfielder Kervin Arriaga is one of four Loons with a team option for 2024.

Quickest offseason in sports: 11 dates to know for Minnesota United

The Loons are in a holding pattern now, preparing to hire a new general manager and a new coach. But once things get moving, a lot will happen fast.
Minnesota United defender Michael Boxall (15) jumped high for a header against Toronto FC. He’s one of several players on expiring contracts.

Minnesota United roster analysis: Decisions about players must be made

The Loons will have a new coach, and likely a new general manager, tasked with deciding which of Heath's acquisitions remain in the team's plans.
Minnesota United is running headlong into a new era. What kind of era that will be is still largely a mystery.

No Heath, no playoffs: Where do the Loons go next?

For the first time in its MLS tenure, the team will look for a new coach and general manager on top of the usual offseason roster shuffling.
Minnesota United’s Hassani Dotson dribbled with the ball at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night.

Loons' season, MLS playoff streak end with 3-1 loss to Sporting KC

Michael Boxall scored the Loons' lone goal on a free-kick header — not near enough for a team that needed to win to reach the playoffs.
Sporting Kansas City’s Alan Pulido is tied for seventh in MLS scoring, despite not scoring a goal until May.

Loons vs. Sporting Kansas City preview: Both teams fighting for playoffs berth

Jerry Zgoda's analysis: An 0-7 regular-season record at Children's Mercy Park doesn't bode well for the Loons.
Minnesota United midfielder Emanuel Reynoso, left, sounds like he plans to stay with the franchise, no matter what happens Saturday on MLS “Decision

Reynoso's Loons future is still bright despite Heath firing

In his first session with reporters since Adrian Heath was fired, Emanuel Reynoso spoke positively Friday about his future with the Loons.
Minnesota United midfielder Wil Trapp reacted towards the fan section after the Loons scored on last season’s MLS Decision Day, Oct. 9, 2022, when t

Eight-month MLS season has come down to one game for Loons

Minnesota United can advance to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the fifth straight year, but they need a win at Kansas City and help from another team.
When Minnesota United defeated Vancouver on Oct. 9, 2022 (MLS “Decision Day”), Jonathan Gonzalez (6) and DJ Taylor (27) dropped to their knees in

What are Minnesota United's playoff chances, and how can they get in?

The Loons enter their final regular-season game — Saturday night at Sporting Kansas City — needing a win and help from other teams to make the MLS postseason.
Max Kepler took a called third strike from Astros closer Ryan Pressly to end the game — and the Twins’ season.

Misery loves company: Twins' bats go identically silent in Games 3 and 4

For the second game in a row, the Twins had just three hits and 14 strikeouts. They will be thinking about these two silent nights until spring training in February.
Minnesota United midfielder Joseph Rosales, middle, is working his way back from a hamstring injury.

Loons get healthier, still cling to slim playoff hope

Midfielder Joseph Rosales could play the regular-season finale if his hamstring recovers in time, interim coach Sean McAuley said.
Royce Lewis cranked a first-inning homer Wednesday in Game 4.

Royce Lewis does it again; home run gives Twins early energy in Game 4

Royce Lewis is already tied for second-most career postseason home runs for the Twins, one behind Kirby Puckett.
Twins starter Sonny Gray sat in the dugout after being pulled in the fifth inning Tuesday.

Facing the Astros in biggest game of the season, Gray has worst start

Sonny Gray, spectacular all season in the first inning, struggled in Game 3's opening minutes. Before Twins fans got settled at Target Field, Houston had a 4-0 lead.
The Twins offense had an awful day. Here, Royce Lewis struck out with the bases loaded in the fifth inning.

Twins hitters went cold, none chillier than Kirilloff and Wallner

The two lefthanded bats are hitless in 17 at-bats this postseason. Just as telling: The Twins are 5-for-37 with runners in scoring position.
Ruoning Yin won the Women’s LPGA championship in June.

Hazeltine lands another major golf tournament: Here's how it happened

The KPMG Women's PGA Championship will return in 2026 to a club that was built to play host to the sport's biggest events.
Twins players limbered up during a short workout on Monday at Target Field.

Home opener replay? Game 3 will have that look, feel at Target Field

Sonny Gray vs. the Astros with a late-afternoon start at a filled-up Target Field. That is what's in store Tuesday afternoon, just as it was for the Twins home-opener in April.
Striker Teemu Pukki set a Minnesota United record with four goals in one game.

Loons rebound in a big way, beating LA Galaxy 5-2 in McAuley's debut

Playing for the first time since Adrian Heath was fired, Teemu Pukki scored four times to keep the Loons' MLS playoff hopes alive.
Adrian Heath is out as head coach of the Loons after joining the team prior to its inaugural MLS season in 2017.

Heath out as Minnesota United coach amid late-season freefall

The Loons fired Adrian Heath, the only head coach they have ever had as an MLS team, and replaced him with assistant Sean McAuley for the regular season's final two games.
Allianz Field broadcasting staff began a strike before Saturday’s game against LA Galaxy.

Minnesota United home game not on Apple TV due to Allianz Field strike

Allianz Field in-house gameday staff picketed outside and struck seeking their first collectively bargained contract.
Former Twins pitcher José Berríos got pulled early by Toronto coach John Schneider in an attempt to manipulate the Twins’ lineup Wednesday.

Jays pull Berrios despite 'electric' performance against former team

Berríos walked Royce Lewis to start the fourth inning and then was taken out by Jays manager John Schneider despite saying that Berrios was "electric" and showed "the best stuff he has had all year."
Kevin Gausman led the American League this season with 237 strikeouts and his 3.16 ERA was the second-best mark of his career.

Gausman is Jays ace and Game 1 starter, but Twins have had his number

Kevin Gausman led the American League in strikeouts and posted a sterling 3.16 ERA — but the Twins scored seven runs in 10 innings against him this season.
A memorial service for Henry Boucha was held Friday at Warroad’s ice arena.

Warroad's Hockey Day Minnesota will celebrate Henry Boucha's life, career

The three-day event, to be held the final weekend of January, will see players wear jerseys that honor Boucha, who died Sept. 18 and was remembered at memorial services Thursday and Friday..
Pallbearers carried the casket of Henry Boucha out of the Gardens Arena, where his number 16 hangs from the rafters, following his funeral services Fr

Henry Boucha is remembered by the State of Hockey and the world of hockey

"The best hockey player to come out of Minnesota" was eulogized in front of about 800 in Warroad Gardens arena.
Minnesota United’s Hassani Dotson (31) made a play in front of St. Louis City midfielder Njabulo Blom (6) last Saturday at Allianz Field.

Why Dotson is the Loons' best player of late

Dotson has bounced back from major knee surgery and looked comfortable at multiple positions.
Minnesota United midfielder Emanuel Reynoso scored on a penalty kick against Colorado on Aug. 30 at Allianz Field. He is listed as questionable for Sa

Injured Loons star Reynoso questionable for San Jose game

Emanuel Reynoso has a thigh injury and did not practice again Tuesday, but Loons coach Adrian Heath said Reynoso "feels better by the day."
Minnesota United forward Teemu Pukki attempted a shot on goal in front of St. Louis City defender Jakob Nerwinski in the first half Saturday.

Loons again give up too much after halftime, fall 2-1 to St. Louis City

After St. Louis City made a slew of second-half subs, the first-year expansion team went to work in beating the Loons.
Minnesota United star Emanuel Reynoso, shown against Toluca, is day-to-day with a thigh injury, coach Adrian Heath said Friday.

Loons in crunch time with Reynoso 'day-to-day'

The Loons have fallen out of a playoff spot heading into Saturday night's home game against St. Louis City.
The Loons have only played St. Louis once before, in a high-octane game decided by a Luis Amarilla penalty.

Reeling Loons face pivotal game against best-in-the-West St. Louis

The Loons are winless in their last four and sit one point outside the playoffs.
Minnesota United’s Emanuel Reynoso, right, and the L.A. Galaxy’s Tyler Boyd vied for the ball Wednesday night in Carson, Calif. The Galaxy won 4-3

Heath cites 'stupid decisions' as Loons collapse late in loss to Galaxy

Minnesota United dropped under the nine-team playoff line and into 10th place in the Western Conference with Wednesday night's 4-3 loss to the L.A. Galaxy.
Minnesota United’s Miguel Tapias, right, is expected to be back at center back Wednesday, when the Loons play at the L.A. Galaxy.

Loons look to extend four-game unbeaten streak vs. L.A. Galaxy

The Loons, fighting to make the playoffs, travel to face the L.A. Galaxy, which sits in 13th place in the Western Conference.
Teemu Pukki, left, endured an eight-game stretch without a goal for Minnesota United.

Five difference makers in the Loons' MLS playoff push

The Loons have six regular-season games remaining, starting Wednesday at the L.A. Galaxy.
Taylor Heise was a two-time All-America selection for the Gophers and won the 2022 Patty Kazmaier Award, given to the nation’s best player.

Minnesota picks ex-Gophers star Heise No. 1 overall in PWHL draft

Taylor Heise, a former Gophers All-America, was the No. 1 overall selection in Monday's PWHL draft, the first of 15 picks for the Minnesota franchise in the new league.
Minnesota United’s Jan Gregus, left, kicked the ball past Sporting Kansas City’s Rémi Walter on Saturday night at Allianz Field.

Loons lament missed call on SKC ahead of winning goal: 'Who didn't see it?'

To the dismay of Loons players, Gadi Kinda's goal in the 84th minute was the difference Saturday night at Allianz Field.
Minnesota United forward Sang Bin Jeong, seen against the Colorado Rapids on Aug. 30 at Allianz Field, is back with the team after missing the last ga

Loons return three players for matchup with Sporting Kansas City

The Loons' Teemu Pukki, Joseph Rosales and Sang Bin Jeong missed last Saturday's 1-1 draw with New England because they were on international duty
Minnesota United defender DJ Taylor (27) and New England Revolution forward DeJuan Jones (24) fought for the ball in a 1-1 draw on Sept. 9 at Allianz

Loons find a defensive groove to bolster their stretch run

The Loons have surrendered just four goals combined over the past seven games, going 3-0-4 in that stretch entering Saturday's home game vs. Sporting Kansas City.
Minnesota United defender DJ Taylor held a puppy from Ruff Start Rescue in Princeton, Minn., at the team’s training session Wednesday in Blaine.

Watch how Minnesota United players 'de-stress' at practice: rescue puppies

The Loons received a visit Wednesday from Ruff Start Rescue out of Princeton, Minn. It was part of a promotion heading into Saturday's game against Sporting Kansas City.
U.S. forward Brenden Aaronson (11) scored on a free kick in the second half Tuesday at Allianz Field. The U.S. men’s soccer team faced Oman in an in

USMNT finds success at Allianz Field again, defeats Oman 4-0 in friendly

Folarin Balogun, Brenden Aaronson and Ricardo Pepi scored for the U.S. men's soccer team in its first time back in St. Paul since the 2022 World Cup qualifier.
USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie exhaled during the frigid 3-0 victory over Honduras on Feb. 2, 2022, at Allianz Field.

Five USMNT players to watch Tuesday vs. Oman at Allianz Field

Many of the U.S. men's soccer team's biggest names will be on hand for this friendly matchup under recently rehired coach Gregg Berhalter.
Players for Honduras (right) and the U.S. men’s national soccer team (left) coped with the frigid temperatures at Allianz Field on Feb. 2, 2022.

USMNT coach Berhalter: 'There's tough and there's Minnesota tough'

The U.S. men's soccer team plays Oman on Tuesday in a friendly at Allianz Field, which will be significantly warmer than it was for the USMNT and Honduras on Feb. 2, 2022.
Loons players took to the Wonderwall stands after scoring late to tie the game 1-1 on Saturday at Allianz Field

Fragapane's extra-time goal gives Loons 'crazy, crazy' draw

Trailing all night after New England star Carles Gil scored a 38th-minute goal, the Loons pushed everyone forward – including their keeper – and pulled out the one point.
Lionel Messi celebrated a goal for Argentina on Thursday against Ecuador during FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Buenos Aires.

Could Messi change MLS' schedule for international breaks?

The league's decision to play games through FIFA's international breaks has been a topic of contention since its inception in 1996.
Minnesota United forwards Mender García (28) and Bongokuhle Hlongwane (21) celebrated after a goal against the Portland Timbers on July 1 at Allianz

Loons' Hlongwane on track for Saturday return

Hlongwane is expected back from his knee injury for Saturday's home game vs. the New England Revolution.
Loons forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane scored on this shot against Real Salt Lake on May 27 at Allianz Field.

Minnesota United could get standout Hlongwane back soon

Bongokuhle Hlongwane tested his injured knee in a Loons training session Tuesday.
Minnesota United forward Teemu Pukki, going against Austin’s Julio Cascante in July, has scored in each of the past two games but won’t be with th

Loons' Pukki finally settling in, on and off the field

After a long goalless stretch, Pukki has scored two goals in his last two games and had another disallowed.
Minnesota United forward Teemu Pukki looks up at the scoreboard during a game in Nashville last month.

Loons draw with San Jose to run unbeaten streak to six games

Teemu Pukki's third MLS goal and second in two games put the Loons on the board early, and they held on for a point.
Medina native Caden Clark is heading back home to Minnesota United.

Loons set up a homecoming for Medina native Caden Clark

Traded away from the Loons earlier in his career, Clark is coming back via transfer. He'll play in Denmark until the end of 2023 and is expected to join the Loons in January.
Zarek Valentin will move to right back for Minnesota United with D.J. Taylor out for yellow card accumulation.

Minnesota United heads to San Jose without injured Bongokuhle Hlongwane

Loons standout Bongokuhle Hlongwane will miss his third game with a knee injury.
Minnesota United midfielder Joseph Rosales (8) got ready to make a move on Toluca midfielder Brian Garcia (17) when the teams met in Leagues Cup actio

Minnesota United's Pukki, Rosales called to national teams

Both will miss the Sept. 9 Loons game against New England, but are expected back for a Sept. 16 game against Sporting Kansas City.
Minnesota United’s Emanuel Reynoso scored past Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Marko Ilic for one of his two first-half goals Wednesday night.

Reynoso's two goals help Loons roll past Colorado for rare home win

Injured star Emanuel Reynoso scored two first-half goals, and Minnesota United beat the Colorado Rapids 3-0 at Allianz Field.
Minnesota United forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane is having a breakout season but currently battling a knee injury.

Hlongwane, Reynoso may not play for Loons vs. Colorado

Minnesota United's top two players, Bongokuhle Hlongwane and Emanuel Reynoso, are banged up heading into Wednesday night's home match vs. last-place Colorado.
Minnesota United midfielder Emanuel Reynoso attempted a shot during the first half against Seattle on Sunday at Allianz Field.

Minnesota United benefits from own goal, plays to 1-1 draw with Sounders

The Loons again failed to win at home, recording their seventh draw in 11 games at Allianz Field.
Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi won the inaugural Leagues Cup final earlier this month before ever making his MLS debut.

Loons ride MLS popularity wave, crediting 'Messi effect'

Messi's performance in the Leagues Cup for Inter Miami has electrified MLS since the last time Minnesota United played a league home game.
Bongokuhle Hlongwane leads Minnesota United with 15 goals in all competitions this season.

Loons preview: Hlongwane's status a game-day decision

Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Minnesota United's leading goal scorer, has an injured knee and his status is in doubt for Sunday's game against Seattle.
CBS Sports announcer Jim Nantz surveyed the grounds last week at Tepetonka, a private “destination” course being developed in New London, Minn., w

A voice unlike any other: Tepetonka golf club partners with CBS' Nantz

Broadcaster Jim Nantz is a paying member and club ambassador for the emerging course set to open in 2025. The club near New London, Minn., will cap its $100,000 membership at 100 people.
Minnesota United forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane has had a breakout season.

Minnesota United gets good news on Hlongwane's knee injury

Bongokuhle Hlongwane, who has scored 15 goals across all competitions for Minnesota United this season, had an MRI that showed no damage.
Ján Gregus during his first stint with Minnesota United in 2020.

Gregus scores in Minnesota United return, Loons beat NYCFC 2-0

Gregus replaced an injured Hlongwane and scored shortly after halftime.
Teemu Pukki (22) needs to score about seven or eight goals over the final 12 games, coach Adrian Heath said, challenging the veteran from Finland.

Loons hope to use Leagues Cup as springboard to MLS playoffs

After reaching the Leagues Cup quarterfinals, Minnesota United returns to MLS action Sunday night at New York City FC.
Bongokuhle Hlongwane, left, scored for Minnesota United against Toluca FC in a Leagues Cup match Aug. 8 at Allianz Field.

Hlongwane leads Loons back into MLS play vs. New York City

Minnesota United forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane has 15 goals this season, the most in club history.
In his previous stint with Minnesota United, Ján Greguš, top, had a collision with FC Dallas midfielder Andrés Ricaurte at Allianz Field.

Ján Gregus gives Minnesota United a familiar face to bolster the midfield

Minnesota United acquired Jan Gregus from Nashville SC, then lost to that team in the Leagues Cup quarterfinals. Greguš couldn't play in that game but can return for the Loons on Sunday at New York City FC.
Nashville SC midfielder Dax McCarty collided with Loons midfielder Will Trapp in the first half of Friday night’s Leagues Cup quarterfinal match.

Loons have no answer after red card, fall to Nashville in Leagues Cup

Minnesota United's Leagues Cup run ended Friday with a resounding 5-0 quarterfinal loss at Nashville.
Two straight victories decided by penalty kicks have been a powerful bonding experience for the Loons. Sang Bin Jeong, far right, scored the deciding

Minnesota United finds best form in pressure-packed Leagues Cup

Next up for the Loons is a Leagues Cup quarterfinal Friday at Nashville for a spot in the final four of the 47-team tournament.
Loons midfielder Bongokuhle Hlongwane has scored seven goals in Leagues Cup play, including one against Toluca on Tuesday.

Loons face fellow MLS club Nashville in Leagues Cup

Both teams reached the round of 16 by defeating a Liga MX team on penalty kicks.
Loons forward Jeong Sang-Bin celebrated clinching the win with his successful penalty shot on Toluca goalkeeper Tiago Volpi on Tuesday night at Allian

Loons advance on penalties in Leagues Cup victory over Toluca

The Loons played the final 23 minutes down a man after midfielder Hassani Dotson received his second yellow card of the game. They'll play Friday in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Not every penalty kick trick works for Minnesota United goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair. He touched the ball and engaged in some taunting of Chicago Fire m

Skill, theatrics, trash talk. St. Clair uses them all to defend penalty kicks

Minnesota United goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair has disrupted shooters with hugs, taunts and touching the soccer ball before they kick — whatever it takes to interrupt a player's focus.
Minnesota United forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane (21) scored his second goal in the second half against the Chicago Fire on July 27. He’s scored two go

Hlongwane, Reynoso lead Loons into Leagues Cup round of 16

Minnesota United has scored nine goals in its three Leagues Cup games, led by Hlongwane's six tallies. They face Club Deportivo Toluca on Tuesday night.
Max Kepler saluted the crowd after hitting a solo homer on the first pitch of the sixth inning.

Twins find company in solo homers, rally to defeat Diamondbacks

It wasn't an easy win for the Twins, but from Bailey Ober's start to four shutout innings of relief and three solo homers in three different innings, they got the job done.
Dallas Keuchel was at his best in Houston, where he won the 2015 American League Cy Young Award.

Keuchel to start Sunday for Twins, says, "This is a good situation"

Former Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel, who is set to start Sunday against Arizona, says he didn't doubt he'd make it back to the major leagues.