The Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO) are proud to announce the return of two key players, veteran midfielder/defender Shintaro Harada and defender Shane Smith.
The Dutch Lions are excited about the return of Harada, who is in the midst of a multi-year deal with Dayton.
Harada is one of the most decorated players to ever play for the Dutch Lions, having won a laundry list of awards that included USL Second Division Most Valuable Defender (2010), USL Second Division All-League First Team (2010), USL Second Division All-League FirstTeam (2009), USL Second Division All-League First Team (2008), and USL Second Division All-League Second Team (2007).
“The experience and professionalism that Shintaro brings to the roster is impressive,” Dayton Dutch Lions head coach Sid van Druenen commented. “His work ethic and lifestyle are a great example and he brings that veteran leadership we need to make it through the tough parts of the season.”
His overseas experience includes time with professional clubs in Japan and Hong Kong, playing in the countries’ top leagues, including the Japan Football League and the J-League.
“I am excited about playing with DDL this year and looking forward to playing with the players who played last year and new players,” Harada concluded. “We got in the playoffs last year, but I’d like to stay up higher in the league and would like to go to playoffs this year again. We have to train hard to win games.”
The Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan native played in 24 games, logging one goal and two assists. He was fourth on the team with 2113 minutes played.
Harada can be found on Twitter @shintaroharada and will again wear number 21 for the Dutch Lions.
Dayton will also see the return of Smith, who appeared in 25 games. He played 1871 minutes, scoring two goals and one assist in 2013.
“Shane is one of the most experienced left backs in the league,” van Druenen added. “This is going to be his fourth year playing for us. He knows the club and he is all-round not only a quality left back, but also a great guy to work with.”
The Casa Grande, AZ native was named to the USL PRO Team of the Week four times in 2013. Last season he also scored the game-tying goal in the 90th minute to tie the Columbus Crew Reserves 4-4.
“I looking forward to another USL PRO season with the Dutch Lions and want to use my experience to lead this team to a successful season,” Smith concluded. “I am confident in the direction this organization is going and we will look to build off last season’s success with the goal of getting the Dutch Lions into the playoffs again.”
Smith also coaches in the DDL FC Academy, leading the U-12 Girls and U-11 Boys teams. He can be found on Twitter @cgshane24 and will wear number 2 for the Dutch Lions.