Kia Zolgharnain (born November 10, 1965) is a retired Iranian-American soccer forward who led the American Indoor Soccer Association in scoring during the 1986–1987 season. He coaches youth soccer in Cleveland. During his playing days, he was known by his first name alone.
Youth and high school
Although born in Iran, Zolgharnain's family fled the country after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. They settled in Scottsdale, Arizona where Zolgharnain attended Coronado High School. He became a U.S. citizen in 1994.
In 1983, Kia chose to turn professional coming out of high school. He signed with the Phoenix Pride of Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL). In 1984, he moved to the expansion Canton Invaders of the American Indoor Soccer Association (AISA). The Invaders won the 1985 and 1986 AISA championships as Zolgharnain was selected as a first team All Star both seasons. In 1987, Kia returned to MISL, this time with the Kansas City Comets. On December 23, 1989, the Comets traded Kia and Gerry Gray to the Tacoma Stars in exchange for Barry Wallace. In 1991, Kia rejoined the Canton Invaders. In 1995 and 1996, Kia spent two summer indoor seasons with the Pittsburgh Stingers in the Continental Indoor Soccer League. In 1996, Kia signed with the Cleveland Crunch of the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL). While he played thirty-seven games in the 1996–1997 season, his playing time rapidly dropped over the next three seasons. In 1997–1998, he played only fifteen games. That fell to one in 1998–1999 and three at the beginning of the 1999–2000 season. The Crunch waived him on December 3, 1999. Zolgharnain finished his career ranked ninth on the AISA/NPSL goals list. He was also a two time first team All Star.
Zolgharnain earned five caps, scoring two goals, with the U.S. Futsal team in 1995. That year, the U.S. finished fourth in the Futsal Mundialito.
Zolgharnain has been coaching at the youth soccer level since 1984. He began as a coach in the Ohio Olympic Developmental Program. He is still involved in the ODP in Georgia. After retiring from playing, he became an assistant coach with the Cleveland Crunch. In 2001, he spent a season as an assistant coach at John Carroll University. He then joined the Cleveland Soccer Academy as the Director of Coaching, a position he held from 2001 to 2005. In 2003, he became a Super Y-League coach with the Cleveland Crunch Juniors. The team won the 2003 U-19 Super Y National Championship. In November 2005, he left Cleveland and moved to Georgia where he became the Director of Coaching for the Peachtree City Youth Soccer Association. In 2007, he returned to Cleveland as the Director of Coaching for CASA (Cleveland Alliance Soccer Association) U16 & U18 USSF developmental Academy.
In addition to playing and coaching soccer, Zolgharnain has owned several businesses including a chain of sporting goods stores in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.