Defender Yuichi Akiba has joined the squad. He most recently played with Yokohama FC, appearing in 9 games through J1 and J2 over two years. He retired at the end of 2007 to return to his Alma Mater of Tsukuba University for graduate school. However, with his old college coach Kiyama now with Mito and Tsukuba being so close to the city, Akiba decided to be a partof the Mito roster.
I think he will play the same role of Hiroki Kato of last year, being an amateur ready to come onto the bench in the event of a series of injuries like last year.