After 9 seasons playing elsewhere, attacking midfielder Masahiro Ohashi returns to Mito. He's had a storied career, playing first for Yokohama F. Marinos, then to Mito, then back to Yokohama, then Niigata, back to Yokohama, Tokyo Verdy, Kawasaki, Gangwon FC (as the 3rd Japanese to play professionally in Korea), and now back in Mito. This will be his 13th season as a pro player, but he is still only 28 years old.
Ohashi played with keeper Honma and manager Kiyama during his year at Mito. That was his best year as far as goals go, but he almost matched it last year in Korea. He was part of the Japanese league winning squads in 2003, 2004, and 2008, and played in the AFC Champions League in 4 straight years, 2004-2007.
Mito is mixing the squad with very experienced players as well as youngsters. The loss of last year's two top scorers is rough, but if the new additions can score enough, the entire team as a whole is looking stronger than last year's side that skirted with promotion.