Minnesota United trades for former Montreal captain Jukka Raitala,

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MONTREAL — CF Montreal has traded the rights to former captain Jukka Raitala to Minnesota United for the rights to midfielder Andrew Booth and a conditional amount of general allocation money.

Raitala, a 32-year-old Finnish defender whose contract with Montreal expired at the end of 2020, has signed a new deal with Minnesota.

Booth, 23, was selected in the fourth round (96th overall) from Florida International University in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. He did not sign for Minnesota, however, eventually joining South Carolina's Greenville Triumph in the USL.

Raitala made 69 appearances in three seasons with Montreal after spending 2017 with the Columbus Crew.

Prior to coming to MLS, he played in Europe for Sogndal IL (Norway), HJK Helsinki (Finland), TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and SC Paderborn 07 (Germany), Osasuna, (Spain), SC Heerenveen (the Netherlands), and FC Vestsjælland and Aalborg BK (Denmark).

“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 (Minnesota midfielder) Robin Lod.

"So we know what to expect from him from Day 1 here in Minnesota. He’s an experienced defender who will continue to uplift our roster and provide competition at our fullback spot.”

Raitala has made more than 50 appearances for Finland.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 28, 2021

The Canadian Press