Get to know Roshn Saudi League’s Al Raed: The Buraidah ‘pioneers’ who possess a strong Romanian influence for 2022/23
Based in the capital of the Al Qassim region of Buraidah, Al Raed are known as ‘The Pioneer Club’ as they were the first team founded there.
Since 1954, the red and black shirts have fought for supremacy. But only in 1986 did they become the debut side in the region to reach Saudi Pro League.
Let’s get to know Al Raed.
On-loan from New York City FC, Romania international Alexandru Mitrita is their go-to creative source. Despite playing on the left wing, he is their third highest scorer in the 2022/23 Roshn Saudi League with five goals.
Moroccan striker Karim El Berkaoui also has four goals in 14 league games for Al Raed, while compatriot Mohamed Fouzair – a loyal servant since 2019 – is joint-leading scorer with seven in 18. Cape Verde international Julio Tavares has joined him at the top.
He previously scored a hat-trick – including a 93rd-minute clincher – to beat future Al Qassim rivals Al Taawoun, when playing for Al Faisaly in the 2020/21 King’s Cup final.
Well-travelled Romanian coach Marius Sumudica is the current manager. He was appointed in 2022 after a second spell at Al Shabab.
He will be given time, especially as he has won the Romanian league as recently as 2021 with Cluj.
Al Raed have been solidly mid table throughout this campaign.
They will be working hard to better their home form after this month’s international break.
Sumudica guided them to seventh during matchweek five, but now sit ninth.
Al Raed’s search for a first major trophy continues.
Their trophy room does contain First Division league titles from 1991/92 and 2007/08, however, and they have been a member of the SPL since that last promotion, so they are an established force.
Al Raed share their King Abdullah Sport City Stadium with Al Taawoun. The ground was built in Buraidah in 1983 and holds a capacity of 25,000.
It is a multi-purpose venue which has an athletics track separated from the audience.