Jukka Raitala - Montreal Impact - close-up - Oct. 3, 2020
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota United acquire veteran fullback Jukka Raitala in trade with CF Montréal


Minnesota United have acquired Finnish international Jukka Raitala in a trade with CF Montréal, it was announced Thursday.

CF Montréal acquired the rights of 2020 SuperDraft draftee Andrew Booth and Raitala, who will take up an international slot, has signed a new contract with the Loons. 

“We are adding an incredibly valuable player,” Minnesota coach Adrian Heath said in a statement. “Jukka is someone who understands our league and has some impressive national team experience with Finland – where he is of course teammates at the national level with Robin Lod.  So we know what to expect from him from day one here in Minnesota. He’s an experienced defender who will continue to uplift our roster and provide competition at our fullback spot. I’ve always said the best thing for players is competition and we have no doubt he will come here expecting to play and elevate our club and community.”

The 32-year-old left back spent three years in Montréal, starting 63 of the 69 matches he appeared in, including all 15 of the 2020 season.

He joined Columbus Crew SC in 2017 after spending the previous season as a regular starter for Sogndal IL in the Norwegian First Division. Raitala appeared in 28 matches for the Crew, before being selected by LAFC in the 2017 Expansion Draft and subsequently traded to Montréal.

Raitala has been capped 53 times for Finland after making his debut at age 20 in an international friendly against Japan. Booth, a 23-year-old defender, was signed by Greenville Triumph SC for the stretch drive of the USL League One season in September, appearing in seven matches and scoring once.

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