2017 (Columbus): Raitala has made 26 appearances (19 starts) this season: 14 starts and three substitute appearances as a leftback, five starts and one substitute appearance as a left wingback, two substitute appearances as a rightback, one substitute appearance as an attacking midfielder and has recorded two assists. Raitala made his regular-season team debut as a starter in the Opening Match against the Chicago Fire (March 4). He notched the first assist of his Crew SC career on the road against the Houston Dynamo (March 11). Raitala missed the match against Portland (March 25) due to being away on international duty with Finland. He earned his 36th international cap in a friendly against Austria (March 28). He returned to the team against Orlando, starting for Crew SC (April 1). He started in a road contest against Chicago (April 8), a home contest against Toronto (April 15) and a road contest against the New York Red Bulls (April 22). Raitala recorded his second assist of the season in a start against New York City FC (April 29). He made a substitute appearance at rightback in a home contest against the New England Revolution (May 6) and returned to the starting lineup in a road contest against the Montreal Impact (May 13). Raitala made a substitute appearance in a road contest against New England (May 21) and started in a home contest against Seattle Sounders FC (May 31). He earned his 37th international cap in a friendly against Liechtenstein (June 7) and earned his 38th international cap in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match against Ukraine (June 11). Raitala returned to the starting lineup in a road contest against Atlanta United FC (June 17). Raitala started in an international friendly match at home against Eintracht Frankfurt (July 14). He came on as a substitute in a home match against the LA Galaxy (August 23) and helped his team earn a clean sheet. Raitala returned to the starting lineup in a home contest against FC Dallas (August 26) and started the following home match against Sporting Kansas City (September 10). He made consecutive substitute appearances in a home match against the New York Red Bulls (September 23) and a home match against D.C. United (September 30).
2016 (Sogndal IL): Raitala made 28 appearances (28 starts), scoring one goal and providing five assists. His team debut came in a road match against FK Bodø/Glimt (March 13). Raitala’s provided his first assist of the season during a home match against IK Start (May 22).
2015 (FC Vestsjælland / Aalborg BK): He split his season between two teams, making 19 appearances (15 starts) for FC Vestsjælland and five appearances (three starts) for Aalborg BK. He made one appearance (one start) in the Danish domestic cup.
2012-2015 (SC Heerenveen): Raitala made 61 appearances (19 starts). His time at SC Heerenveen included qualifying for the 2012-2013 Europa League, where he made an appearance against Molde FK.
2011-2012 (Osasuna): Raitala was loaned to Spanish topflight side Osasuna, making his debut as a leftback against Atletico Madrid on August 28, 2011. On February 11, 2012, he started in a 3-2 win against FC Barcelona. In all, he would make 20 appearances for Osasuna, including three appearances in the 2011-2012 Copa del Rey, where his team reached the Round of 16.
2010-2011 (SC Paderborn 07): On August 31, 2010, he was loaned to SC Paderborn 07 of the Second Division in Germany, where he went on to make 29 appearances (29 starts).
2009-2010 (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim): Raitala joined TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on a season-long loan deal. Made 15 appearances (15 starts) for the second team before making his debut for the senior squad on April 14, 2010, against Werder Bremen.
2009 (HJK Helsinki): Raitala made 20 appearances (19 starts) during the regular season. His season debut came as a starter in a 5-1 home win against Kuopion Palloseura. Won the Veiikkausliga that year with HJK Helsinki. He made five appearances (five starts) in the Liigacup, including an appearance in the quarterfinals match against FC Lahti, en route to winning his second domestic cup.
2008 (HJK Helsinki): The defender made 26 appearances (23 starts) in the regular season). He made four apperances for UEFA Cup qualification. He also made two appearances (two starts) in the Suomen Cup, helping his team win a domestic cup.
2007 (HJK Helsinki): He began his career in Finland with Klubi-04 Helsinki – HJK Helsinki’s reserve team – at the age of 18 before joining the senior squad. Made 23 appearances (20 starts) with the senior side. Raitala made his debut on as a substitute in a 0-0 tie against AC Oulu (April 26). He made no appearances in the Liigacup.
Raitala has earned 38 senior National Team caps for Finland. Raitala’s senior National Team debut came on February 4, 2009 in a friendly match for Finland against Japan. In June of 2011, he played in his first UEFA European Championship qualification against San Marino. Prior to his senior experience, Raitala had also been part of the Finland youth system, representing his country at the U-17, U-19, and U-21 levels. At the U-21 level, he was a member of the Finnish team that qualified for the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship. In 2009, he was named the Finland U-21 Player of the Year. Raitala's last match was a 2018 World Cup Qualifying match against Ukraine on June 11, 2017, where he started and played the entire 90 minutes.
**Acquired as a Discovery Signing on December 23, 2016. Raitala will be added to the Black & Gold roster following receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa and will occupy an international roster spot.**
Raitala has a wife named Riikka and is the son of Pertti and Pirjo. He has an older brother named Jari. He enjoys spending time with his wife and friends, watching movies, and lately he has begun to play tennis. Raitala likes ice hockey and hopes to attend a Blue Jackets game. Growing up his soccer idol was Roberto Carlos because of his amazing left leg. He thinks there are a lot of great movies, but his favorite is Rounders. He prefers playing the FIFA videogames to the Football Manager series. His favorite meal is sushi. If he weren’t a soccer player, he would probably be a physiotherapist. He is fluent in Finnish, English, and Dutch. He has beaten Messi in an official game in Spain against FC Barcelona during his time with Osasuna, and considers that to be one of the most valuable victories of his career.
Name: Jukka Raitala (YOU-kuh Rah-ee-TA-la)
Born: September 15, 1988 in Kerava, Finland
Hometown: Helsinki, Finland
Acquired: Acquired as a Discovery Signing on December 23, 2016.**
Previous Experience: Sogndal IL (2016), Aalborg BK (2015), FC Vestsjælland (2015), SC Heerenveen (2012-2015), Osasuna (2011-2012), SC Paderborn 07 (2010-2011), TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (2009-2012), HJK Helsinki (2006-2009)