Staff Directory 6134712

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
Denver's Jamal Murray has a shot blocked by the Wolves' Jaden McDaniels during the first quarter of Game 6.

Wolves at Nuggets Game 7 preview: Conley, Murray both questionable

Both Mike Conley and Jamal Murray have played through their respective complaints so far this series, to varying levels of success.
Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns team up to guard Denver's Nikola Jokic during Game 6 at Target Center, a strategy the Wolves used to great effe

'They destroy us': Jokic, Malone on how Wolves took apart Nuggets

Denver's superstar center and its veteran coach listed the reasons why the Timberwolves were able to win Game 6 by 45 points. "They hit us first, they hit us second and they hit us third," Malone said.
Karl-Anthony Towns dunks the ball during the first quarter of Game 6.


10 clutch points: Conley's calf, KAT's knee and Ant's brother are keys

How did this happen after the last three games? Here's how it all came together for the Wolves in their 110-75 thumping of the Nuggets.
Anthony Edwards and the Wolves have lost three consecutive games to the NBA champion Nuggets and Jamal Murray. Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns must be

It's win at home or go home for Wolves vs. Nuggets in Game 6

Denver can end the Wolves' season with a victory in Game 6 on Thursday night at Target Center.
Anthony Edwards walks off the court at the end of Game 5 on Tuesday night.

10 clutch points: Edwards out of sync, Conley out, Denver works refs

The Wolves couldn't find a lineup .that could compete with the Nuggets in Game 5, a task made more difficult with Mike Conley injured and Anthony Edwards having an off night
Anthony Edwards of the Timberwolves during Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals at Target Center.

Game 5 questions: Can Wolves stop Gordon, give Edwards some help?

Forward Aaron Gordon hit his first 10 shots for the Nuggets in Game 4 and it sometimes felt like Anthony Edwards was the only Wolves player hitting his shots. Will that change tonight?
Wolves centers Karl Anthony Towns (32) and Rudy Gobert (27) try to defend against the many moves of three-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets in

Road warriors: Best-of-seven playoff down to best-of-three battle

The Wolves smoked the Nuggets twice in Denver. The Nuggets hit back in Minneapolis. Can the Timberwolves win in Denver again and set up a series-clinching win at Target Center?
Anthony Edwards reacts after being called for fouling Jamal Murray during the second quarter. Both players were show-stoppers in Game 4.

10 clutch points: Murray strikes a pose. Edwards has 44. Where's KAT?

Karl-Anthony Towns needed 18 shots to score 13 points and Jamal Murray made quite a scene on the court with his 60-foot buzzer beater at the end of the second quarter.
Despite tweaking his shoulder during the second half of Game 3, Nickeil Alexander-Walker is not listed on the Timberwolves injury list for Game 4.

Wolves vs. Nuggets Game 4 preview: NAW stays off injury list

Nuggets coach Michael Malone used all the badmouthing of the defending champions as motivation; now the Wolves will need to respond.
Karl-Anthony Towns can’t bring in a pass at the end of the first quarter of Game 3 at Target Center. It was that kind of night for the Wolves, who w

Ten clutch points: Murray, Finch, celebrities and other observations from Game 3

The Timberwolves were blitzed 117-90 by the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.
Micah Nori and Chris Finch discuss a moment during the Wolves' victory in Denver on Monday.

Timberwolves are healthy ... well, except the coach

Chris Finch is playing in pain — and avoiding the pain relievers — as his team sails through the NBA playoffs.
As the Wolves close out Monday's victory in Denver, the team bench cheers reserves playing out the game.

The Wolves' defense is unmatched, even without Gobert

Point guard Mike Conley said extra effort from everyone helped fill the hole in Game 2 victory at Denver.
Red Panda performers during halftime of game 2 on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn.  ] CARLOS GONZALEZ • carlos.gonzal

Wolves halftime: Red Panda, balancing acts and a dog steal the show

Red Panda, "Christian and Scooby" and others are among the novelty acts that travel the continent to perform during intermissions of basketball and hockey games. "What you might be able to do on your feet, I can do on my hands," one said.
Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was named Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth time Tuesday.

Gobert named Defensive Player of the Year for record-tying 4th time

The Wolves had the league's best defense this season with center Rudy Gobert as the anchor. He received more than 70% of the first-place votes.
Anthony Edwards dunks the ball in the second quarter of Game 2.

Ten clutch points: Barkley says 'series is a wrap. Minnesota is better.'

NBA great-turned-TV analyst Charles Barkley gushed about the Wolves at halftime and again after they finished off the 106-80 victory. 'They're gonna sweep the Denver Nuggets.'
Wolves guard Anthony Edwards reacts after being called for a technical foul on Saturday in Denver.

Ten clutch points about how the Wolves stole Game 1

Anthony Edwards and Naz Reid were the heroes, the Wolves made life difficult for Nikola Jokic and a broadcaster goes off on the officials over a call.
Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert (27) will have his hands full defending against the Nuggets' two-time NBA MVP, center Nikola Jokic (15), but he'll get

Breaking it down: Wolves-Nuggets matchups (and who's going to win)

The Nuggets easily defeated the Wolves 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs last season and went on to the NBA title. This year's series features more "big-boy basketball." But why should the outcome be different?
Micah Nori, left, and Chris Finch will head the coaching staff as the Wolves meet the Nuggets in the NBA playoffs.

Timberwolves coach Finch returns to practice one day after surgery

Chris Finch had knee surgery Wednesday as the team prepares for its second-round playoff series against the Nuggets, which begins Saturday night in Denver.
Karl-Anthony Towns has played 20 playoff games in his nine NBA seasons. Saturday against the Nuggets will be his next step toward a championship.

KAT says Timberwolves are doing playoffs 'the Minnesota way'

The Timberwolves meet the defending NBA champion Nuggets next in the Western Conference semifinals — the first time in nine seasons that Karl-Anthony Towns will play in a second-round series.
Mike Conley of the Wolves has a friendly discussion with a referee during a game on April 12 at Target Center. The point guard was named the NBA Teamm

NBA's best teammate? It's Timberwolves guard Conley

The league's players vote on the award, which Mike Conley won for the second time.
Minnesota United striker Tani Oluwaseyi, center, gets a high-five from  right wingback DJ Taylor after Oluwaseyi scored against Sporting Kansas City o

Loons score early, hang on for 2-1 home victory over Sporting Kansas City

Michael Boxall put the Loons up 1-0 before most of the Allianz Field crowd settled into its seats and Tani Oluwaseyi added another in the 25th minute.
Wolves guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker, in addition to supplying outstanding defense, has averaged 14 points and 3.5 assists in the playoff series agai

Pretty much a must-win Game 3 for Suns as series moves to Phoenix

If the Wolves win tonight, Phoenix will face a challenge that no team has ever met in a best-of-seven NBA playoff series.
Wolves guard Anthony Edwards shot only 3-for-12 from the field in Game 2 against the Suns on Tuesday, but teammates praised his playmaking and defense

Edwards shows what he can do even when shot isn't falling

All-Star guard Anthony Edwards made only three of 12 shots in Game 2 against the Suns, but he still made a difference by creating opportunities for his teammates.
Wolves center Naz Reid passes the ball around Phoenix center Jusuf Nurkic during the fourth quarter Saturday at Target Center.

Naz Reid. That's the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year winner.

Reid is the first player in Wolves history to win the award and only the undrafted player to win it. The vote was very close.
Karl-Anthony Towns of the Wolves is defended by Phoenix guard Devin Booker on Tuesday night at Target Center.

KAT in early foul trouble, but came back big in second half

After sitting out most of the second quarter with three fouls, Towns was one of the keys as the Wolves pulled away from Phoenix.
Jaden McDaniels scores two of his game-high 25 points Tuesday night in Game 2.

McDaniels keeps his cool, then brings fire to Wolves win

He didn't back down when challenged and then channeled his anger into his play. With his scoring and defense, Jaden McDaniels had a big night.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) passes the ball behind his head and past Suns center Jusuf Nurkic (20) and forward Kevin Durant (35) in th

Towns finds joy trying to stop 'best of the best' in Durant

Last year in the playoffs, Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns often defended Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic. This year's challenge? It's Suns standout Kevin Durant .
Rudy Gobert (27) grabs Naz Reid's shoulders after Reid hit a three-pointer during a Timberwolves game in March.

Another big three? Wolves' Gobert, Reid, Finch are NBA award finalists.

The Wolves had three finalists named for league awards Sunday, with Rudy Gobert getting a chance to do something that only two other NBA players have done.
Rudy Gobert (27) works against Phoenix center Jusuf Nurkic (27) in Saturday's playoff game.

A different look: Gobert gets chance to show off on offense

Rudy Gobert's reputation is rock-solid defense. In Saturday's win over Phoenix, though, he contributed an vital three-point play that helped the Wolves grow their lead.
Wolves guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker knocks the ball away from Suns forward Kevin Durant on Saturday at Target Center.

Wolves use reworked defense, tighter focus to beat Suns in Game 1

Finch adjusted coverage plans and kept his players on task after Phoenix blew out the Wolves at home to finish the season.
Anthony Edwards of the Wolves battled Suns forward Grayson Allen on Saturday at Target Center.

Edwards takes over third quarter despite Suns' defense

All-Star guard Anthony Edwards couldn't be stopped as he sparked a rally in Saturday's Game 1 victory.
Kevin Durant of the Suns and Anthony Edwards of the Timberwolves went head-to-head in Sunday's regular-season finale at Target Center.

Wolves vs. Suns: Here are the match-ups . . . and a series prediction

They say it's difficult to beat the same team three times in a season. What about a fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh? Jerry Zgoda breaks down the playoff series.
Rudy Gobert has been a rebounding and defensive force for the Timberwolves.

Wolves, Suns needed time after making big trades

Rudy Gobert and Bradley Beal had to fit into their teams' offensive schemes.
Wolves point guard Mike Conley (10) and center Rudy Gobert (27) have lost in the first round of the NBA playoffs together in the past four seasons wit

At 36, Wolves' Conley pushes team to 'do it for him' in playoffs

Point guard Mike Conley is playing in the postseason for the 11th time in his career, but he hasn't been on a team advancing as far as the Western Conference finals since 2013. He wants more, and knows his chances are running out.
Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards, right, will spend plenty of time guarding Suns forward Kevin Durant during the teams' first-round NBA playoff serie

Wolves' Edwards named to Team USA for Paris Olympics

Guard Anthony Edwards expressed his excitement to be joining other NBA stars such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry on the team. He will be the fourth Wolves player to play for the U.S. in the Olympics.
Suns guard Bradley Beal shoots between Wolves defenders Sunday on his way to 36 points in Phoenix's victory at Target Center.

Wolves vs. Suns: Will playoffs be a repeat of regular season?

First in the West and in defensive ranking most of the year, the Wolves now face a Phoenix team that finished strong and is more gifted than a typical sixth seed.
Wolves All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns returned Friday after 18 games and more than a month away injured following meniscus knee surgery.

Timberwolves-Suns game preview: TV-radio information, injury report and statistics

If the Timberwolves beat the Suns and the Thunder or Nuggets lose, they're the top seed.
Hawks forward Bruno Fernando has his shot blocked by Wolves center Rudy Gobert on Friday night at Target Center.

Wolves coach: 'Rudy is the reason we don't lose'

Gobert helped the Timberwolves stay in contention for the top seed in the West.
Karl Anthony-Towns (32) of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts after a play in the first quarter.

KAT could return to play tonight when Wolves host Atlanta

Coach Chris Finch wants to get Karl-Anthony Towns, recovering from meniscus surgery, some minutes before the playoffs.
Timberwolves guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker (9) shoots over Wizards forward Eugene Omoruyi on Tuesday at Target Center.

Wolves vs. Nuggets tonight: 'Everyone knows what's at stake'

The teams are down to their last three games of the regular season. As Anthony Edwards put it, 'I don't even need to talk about how big it is. Everybody knows.'
Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards happily heads to the bench after scoring a career-high 51 points in the Wolves' 130-121 victory over the Wizards at

Edwards scores career-high 51 as Wolves rally past Wizards

Anthony Edwards helped rescue the Wolves on a night when they trailed Washington by as many as 21 points in the first quarter and Naz Reid was ejected after a flagrant foul.
Colette Montgomery is the new Minnesota Aurora FC coach and sporting director.

Minnesota Aurora FC hires Colette Montgomery as coach, sporting director

Colette Montgomery replaces Nicole Lukic as sporting director and coach for Minnesota Aurora FC.
Minnesota United forward Teemu Pukki (22) pounces on the counterattack with Real Salt Lake center back Justen Glad (15) in pursuit Saturday night at A

Oluwaseyi's late goal lifts Loons to 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake

Tani Oluwaseyi's goal Saturday night was the Loons' fifth this season that came in the 87th minute or later.
Robin Lod, left, and Teemu Pukki are veteran players from Finland who have formed a bond on and off the field. (AP and Star Tribune photos)

Loons' Finns have a strong connection on and off the field

Whether it's home-cooked dinners or assisting on each other's goals, the bond between Teemu Pukki and Robin Lod has gotten stronger in Minnesota.
Point guard Monte Morris, who joined the Timberwolves from Detroit in a deal at February's trade deadline, brings additional playoff experience to the

Morris gets a chance for extended minutes with Wolves

Keeping starting point guard Mike Conley healthy and rested has meant extra playing time for Monte Morris, a seven-year veteran who has played for three other teams.
The Timberwolves' Anthony Edwards, who had been slumping from long distance, hits a three-pointer over the Raptors' Immanuel Quickley during the first

Wolves rip Raptors by 48, move atop West, clinch 1st-round home court

The Wolves were relentless in sending Toronto to its 15th straight loss, a game that was marked by Anthony Edwards breaking out of his three-point shooting slump.
Michigan Stars midfielder Hunter Olson scored an insurance goal, bending a shot past veteran Minnesota United goalkeeper Clint Irwin, seen vs. Real Sa

Michigan Stars send MNUFC2 home from U.S. Open Cup in shutout

Outplayed much of Tuesday night, the Michigan Stars turned one of their few true chances into the only goal they would need when Sacko Konate scored during MNUFC's 2-0 defeat.
Anthony Edwards reacts after a first-quarter shot Sunday, when he missed all five of his three-point shots.

Edwards is missing shots, but he's not leaking confidence

The Timberwolves standout is 0-for-13 on three-pointers in his two games, including Sunday's ugly loss to the Bulls. But he isn't fretting. Nor are his coaches or teammates.
Wolves forward Kyle Anderson (1) was fouled by Bulls center Nikola Vucevic (9) in the fourth quarter Sunday night at Target Center.

Wolves fall to 3rd in West when shooting fails in loss to Bulls

The Timberwolves' return to the top of the Western Conference lasted only two days after they struggled from three-point range against Chicago.
Forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane, pictured during a game March 16, and Minnesota United suffered their first MLS loss of the season Saturday, falling 2-0

Minnesota United falls 2-0 at Philadelphia for first loss of the season

The Loons dropped to 3-1-1 after appearing to score an equalizer in the 82nd minute, but forward Tani Oluwaseyi was called offside.
Minnesota United players celebrate the team's March 16 victory against Los Angeles FC.

Can Minnesota United keep pace as one of the best in MLS?

The Loons are back from their international break but won't have star Emanuel Reynoso for Saturday's match at Philadelphia.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry's 307 three-pointers this season leads the NBA.

Wolves-Warriors preview: Season series finale returns to Target Center

Jerry Zgoda's breakdown: The Timberwolves could still be missing their stars, but they won both previous games against Golden State.
Wolves guard Mike Conley celebrates after the Cavaliers call timeout in the fourth quarter Friday night at Target Center.

Wolves' point guard trio show off connection on court

With the playoffs looming, the Wolves may be forced to play smaller than they've grown accustomed to. Chris Finch is confident it won't be an issue after the win over Cleveland.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Caris LeVert (3) and Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert (27) fight for a loose ball in the fourth quarter.

Friday night delight: Wolves turn it on late to beat Cavaliers

It took some time and a little bit of self-inflicted physicality, but the Wolves won for the fourth game in their last five after a 104-91 victory Friday night at Target Center.
Cleveland Cavaliers' Isaac Okoro (35) drives against Minnesota Timberwolves' Anthony Edwards (1) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monda

Edwards, Reid will play for Wolves tonight

Donovan Mitchell is sidelined for Cleveland, which has the third-best record in the East.
Minnesota United coach Eric Ramsay, shown after the team's win over Los Angeles FC on March 16 in St. Paul, coached the Loons against St. Patrick’s

Loons win friendly vs. St Patrick's; reserve team wins in U.S. Open Cup

The MNUFC2 reserve team wins in the first round of the U.S. Open Cup while the Minnesota United first team tops St. Patrick's Athletic in friendly at home.
Minnesota United's new coach, Eric Ramsay, celebrates his first victory last Saturday at Allianz Field.

Loons send two teams into action across the Midwest on Wednesday

MNUFC2 opens the U.S. Open Cup in Chicago, while the first team plays a friendly against St. Patrick's, from suburban Dublin.
Los Angeles FC forward Cristian Olivera, right, dribbles the ball as Loons defender Michael Boxall defends during the first half Saturday night at All

Ramsay makes debut, celebrates his 'Wonderwall' moment

Newly hired Eric Ramsay had a successful coaching debut with the Loons, who are undefeated through four games.
Minnesota United coach Eric Ramsay, left, and chief soccer officer Khaled El-Ahmad are both multilingual.

Multilingual Ramsay connects with new Loons team in their own words

Eric Ramsay can speak English, French and Spanish and he's conversant in a few more. It's helped the new Loons coach get off to a quick start in team bonding.
Eric Ramsay, left, is introduced as the new head coach of Minnesota United FC alongside chief soccer officer Khaled El-Ahmad at Allianz Field on Wedne

Stars aligned for Ramsay to become new Loons coach

Eric Ramsay said he spent the time between being hired and meeting the players learning everything he could about Minnesota United.
Cameron Knowles, middle, has earned a full-time position on the Loons' coaching staff.

Minnesota United keeps Knowles as assistant coach under Ramsay

After starting the season 2-0-1 with Cameron Knowles as interim coach, the Loons rewarded him Monday with an assistant position on new coach Eric Ramsay's staff.
The Loons' Bongokuhle Hlongwane leaps on Teemu Pukki to celebrate during a game last season. Each scored Saturday night in Orlando.

Loons top Orlando 3-2 with Hlongwane's stoppage-time goal

Making his season debut, Bongokuhle Hlongwane entered as a substitute and sent the Loons home winners with a goal in the 96th minute.
Wolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) shoots from between Cavaliers forward Dean Wade, left, center Jarrett Allen (31) and forward Isaac Okoro during the f

Wolves get to overtime vs. Cavs but come up short in 113-104 loss

Rudy Gobert's technical foul in the final minute proved costly, as it gave Cleveland a trip to the free-throw line to tie the score.
Minnesota United midfielder Emanuel Reynoso is expected to play Saturday in Dallas

Minnesota United's Emanuel Reynoso to miss third game in a row to start season

Loons interim coach Cameron Knowles said the star midfielder won't play at Orlando on Saturday but should be back next week.
Cretin-Derham Hall's Owen Nelson, with the goalie mask that reflects his culture.

Goalie wears his heart — and his culture — on his head

Cretin-Derham Hall's Owen Nelson honors his grandparents, Vietnamese refugees who made a life in America, with his artwork.
Chanhassen fans celebrate the team’s second goal in the second period against Rochester Century/John Marshall of Thursday's first Class 2A quarterfi

State Tourney Insiders: Sights and sounds from Class 2A quarterfinals

Cretin-Derham Hall goalie Owen Nelson wears his heart on his head, and it's the last call for a legend in the broadcast booth.
The puck took flight in front of Mahtomedi forward Tommy Lewin, left, during the final game of Wednesday's Class 1A quarterfinals.

Minnesota boys hockey state tournament: Class 1A quarterfinals roundup

There were three one-sided games and a thriller in the nightcap of Class 1A. Tap here for all of our coverage from the X.
Bobby Sansone, flanked by other Orono supporters, celebrates a first-period goal against Mahtomedi on Wednesday. That was before matters deteriorated

Behind the scenes at the boys hockey state tournament

Sights and sounds from the Xcel Energy Center include Warroad honoring Henry Boucha and a player tip on how you can use pickles to keep the energy up in overtime.
The U.S. Women's National Team is coming back to Allianz Field to play Korea Republic, a rematch of their friendly from 2021.

USWNT to play Korea Republic at Allianz Field on June 4

This will be the third trip to Minnesota for the U.S. Women's National soccer team, and the first to feature their new head coach Emma Hayes.
Kyle Anderson's playmaking skills were on display Monday night at Target Center.

Back from knee issue, 'playmaker' Anderson finds his groove

Kyle Anderson now has three assists or more in 11 consecutive games, the longest streak in his pro career, and has been making an increased impact.
Rudy Gobert of the Timberwolves fights with Moses Brown of the Trail Blazers for a rebound in the second quarter.

Gobert's nearly perfect game boosts out-of-synch Wolves past Portland

The Timberwolves defensive star missed one shot, hit all his free throws and led the team in almost every statistical category on a night where his teammates looked out of sorts.
Minnesota United midfielder Tani Oluwaseyi (14) is congratulated by teammates after scoring the tying goal in stoppage time against the Columbus Crew.

'God be with the ball.' Stoppage time goal gives Loons a draw

Tani Oluwaseyi's whirling shot in the 94th minute of Minnesota United's home opener pushed the Loons to a 1-1 draw with Columbus.
Christian Ramirez lifted his first MLS Cup trophy with the Columbus Crew in December. Ramirez played five seasons in Minnesota.

Minnesota United vs. Columbus preview: Home opener features MLS Cup champs

It's set to be a mix of new and old at Allianz Field, with former Minnesota United mainstay Christian Ramirez playing for the Crew and young Loons eyeing more playing time.
Veteran midfielder Wil Trapp hugs Minnesota United teammate Alejandro Bran after Bran's goal secured the win in his MLS debut vs. Austin.

Youngest Loons firmly in the mix for Saturday's home opener

The Loons return to Allianz Field to play defending champs Columbus after getting key late-game production from four up-and-comers at Austin.
Minnesota United sporting director Khaled El-Ahmad makes his first media appearance Thursday to discuss the future of the Loons.

Loons' new soccer boss discusses Ramsay hiring and more

In Khaled El-Ahmad's first media availability since joining the Loons, the sporting director laid out his vision for the team's tactics, youth movement and ... Olive Garden?