ST. CLOUD — Jack Thorkelson loves to compete.

The Brainerd graduate is a current college soccer player at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, and he makes the one hour drive from Brainerd multiple times a week in the summer to play for St. Cloud Dynamo FC.

Dynamo is a local amateur soccer club that has teams in the first and third divisions of the Minnesota Amateur Soccer League. Thorkelson is hard to miss on the field, calling out formations and creating opportunities for his teammates with his skill on the wing.

"I just love the talent level here and the coaches," Thorkelson said. "I get treated well, and that makes me play better."

Thorkelson plays for the Division I team Dynamo FC and also for the Division 3 team Dynamo FC 18 (named after the year they were founded).

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"(Jack) is a fantastic player ... he really gives them motivation because he plays the two teams and comes down to help out the Division 3 (team)," coach Ed Johnson said. "I don't think he's missed one game, so the commitment from him is top-notch; he really has a passion to win."

While Dynamo FC is fighting for a division title, Dynamo 18's are trying to avoid relegation to Division 4. They are currently eighth out of 10 teams in their division (3-7-3), with the bottom two being sent down and the top two from division 4 making the move up.

With the division leader River City FC (10-2-2) coming to Dynamo's home field at Whitney Park on Tuesday, the odds weren't stacked in their favor.

Thorkelson isn't used to losing much, going to a section final in a 12-2-2 senior season with Brainerd before seeing a little action in a 7-0 season with Gustavus last spring.

But Thorkelson was ready for Tuesday's challenge. After River City had two prime chances to score in the opening 20 minutes that both hit the post, Thorkelson found himself alone outside the 18-yard box with no pressure.

He lashed the goal into the top corner, giving Dynamo a 1-0 lead midway through the first half.

"We have a lot of trouble with scoring, and that comes from just not shooting the ball," Thorkelson said. "I figured it was a shoot-able distance and ripped it, and thankfully it went in."

After a free kick goal from River City and another deep strike from Dynamo's Mahmoud Soumah gave Dynamo a 2-1 lead at the half, a defensive breakdown allowed River City to score at the near post to even the game back up in the second half.

But when they needed a big goal, Thorkelson came through.

He was able to go across his defender's body and cut past him one-on-one, firing a shot that slid beneath the keeper and slowly rolled over the goal line to give Dynamo another lead on the verge of a major upset.

River City countered back with another close-range goal moments later, and the game would later end in a 3-3 tie.

With a lot of new players, chemistry is still developing. Strides have been made, and the young squad is beginning to outwork other teams. They've also been bolstered by three St. Cloud State players.

Dynamo FC 18 has now tied the top two teams in the division in back-to-back games, with their next two opponents sitting below them in the standings.

"Now we just go forward and try to stave off relegation," Johnson said. "I think the guys are motivated to do that."