Get to know Roshn Saudi League’s Al Wehda: One of Saudi Arabia’s oldest clubs, who are home to FIFA World Cup 2022 stars from Morocco and Costa Rica
One of the Saudi Arabia’s oldest clubs, Al Wehda, are back in Roshn Saudi League after a season away.
Here is everything you need to know about the team from Mecca.
There’s plenty of World Cup experience in the Al Wehda squad, with Morocco internationals Munir Mohamedi and Faycal Fajr, as well as Costa Rica’s Oscar Duarte.
Mohamedi played for Morocco at the recent FIFA World Cup in Qatar, playing in Morocco’s 2-0 win against Belgium, while Fajr featured at the 2018 World Cup.
Duarte, meanwhile, played for Los Ticos at both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, with all three bringing a wealth of experience to Al Wehda.
At the other end of the experience spectrum, 22-year-old Hussain Al Eisa is a promising talent that helped Saudi Arabia capture the AFC U23 Asian Cup last year, scoring in the semi-final against Australia, and featured for the senior national team at the recent Arabian Gulf Cup.
Former Al Ittihad coach Jose Luis Sierra took over at Al Wehda in October.
The experienced Chilean, who won the King’s Cup with Al Ittihad in 2018 and had previously managed Colo-Colo in his homeland, had two spells at the Jeddah giants. He also took charge of Al Tai throughout last season, helping them to a sixth-placed finish.
Al Wehda finished as high as fourth in 2019/20.
This campaign, however, has been about consolidation back in Roshn Saudi League.
An unbeaten run of five matches has helped, while they’ve also beaten Al Shabab 2-1 and drawn 3-3 with holders Al Hilal in recent weeks.
Their biggest challenge this season has been finding the back of the net, with their 18 goals the equal-fourth lowest in the league.
Al Wehda’s rich history can be traced back to 1916.
They have never lifted the top flight, but in the King’s Cup they enjoyed a golden period in the 1950s and 1960s, winning the title twice (1957 and 1966) and finishing runners-up a further five times.
Outside of that the club has won the Saudi First Division four times, most recently in 2017/18 and courtesy of their fourth-placed finish in the 2019/20 season have played in the AFC Champions League.
They entered 2021 in the play-off rounds against Iraq powerhouse Al Quwa Al Jawiya, which they lost on penalties.
The 38,000 capacity King Abdulaziz Sports City Stadium in Mecca is what Al Wehda call home.
The stadium has previously hosted matches for Jeddah teams Al Ittihad and Al Ahli, with Al Ittihad using the stadium during the 2014 AFC Champions League on their run to the quarter-finals.