Sam Nicholson might be newly arrived in the U.S., but he's already catching on to the lingo.

"It's important as a football player — or as a soccer player, sorry — I think it's important that you feel welcome, you feel wanted," he said. "And once you get a good vibe, you should go ahead with it."

The Scottish winger experienced all of those emotions when visiting Minnesota United FC in late May. And, as of Monday, the 22 year old is officially a Loon.

The 5-9, 157-pound Nicholson is the first of likely several additions during this transfer window as United aims to bolster its depth. He probably will play in the friendly against Mexican club Atlas on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.

Nicholson is a product of Scottish top-division team Heart of Midlothian F.C.'s youth academy.



• Gophers senior defensive tackle Steven Richardson was named to the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, presented to the college defensive player of the year. Teammate Rodney Smith, a junior running back, was named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, given to the college player of the year.

• Kenny Coakley (138) of Phoenix and two state golfers — Jacques Wilson (140) of Victoria and Taylor Sundbom (141) of Duluth — qualified for the U.S. Amateur in sectional qualifying at Dakotah Ridge Golf Course in Morton, Minn.

• Anthony Gallas hit a two-run homer but the St. Paul Saints lost 7-4 to the visiting Sioux Falls Canaries after losing a pitcher earlier in the day. The Baltimore Orioles purchased the contract of starter John Straka, who was 3-4 with a 6.02 ERA with the Saints, and assigned him to Class AA New Hampshire.