Shintaro Harada

Shintaro Harada (原田 慎太郎, Harada Shintaro, born November 8, 1980) is a former Japanese football player.

Shintaro Harada
Personal information
Full name Shintaro Harada
Date of birth (1980-11-08) November 8, 1980
Place of birth Sayama, Saitama, Japan
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position Midfielder, Defender
Youth career
1996–1998 Toin Gakuen High School
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2001 Yokohama F. Marinos 16 (1)
2002 Omiya Ardija 2 (0)
2003–2005 Tokushima Vortis 51 (3)
2005–2006 ALO's Hokuriku 38 (0)
2007–2009 Crystal Palace Baltimore 61 (2)
2010–2012 Pittsburgh Riverhounds 56 (2)
2013–2014 Dayton Dutch Lions 49 (2)
2013Yokohama FC Hong Kong (loan) 5 (0)
2015–2016 Colorado Springs Switchbacks 35 (2)
Total 313 (12)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Club career


‘Shin’ as he is known, started his professional career as a 19-year-old for Yokohama F. Marinos when their then manager Osvaldo Ardiles handed him his debut. Shin continued in the team that season, playing against international legends such as Bebeto and helped guide his team to their first League Championship (Stage 1). Shin played alongside Japanese national hero Shunsuke Nakamura, who also started his career at Yokohoma. In 2002 acquired by Omiya Ardija and then Tokushima Vortis.[1]

He played part of the 2005 season and all of the 2006 season for ALO's Hokuriku of the Japan Football League in Japan. After successful spells in J.League Shin decided to move abroad in 2007 and entered the open trials for the newly formed Crystal Palace Baltimore in the USL Second Division, arriving with a little bit of English and his boots.

United States

Crystal Palace Baltimore

In his first season in Baltimore, Harada was named to the USL Second Division All-League Second-Team, and followed that up by being named in the USL Second Division All-League First-Team in 2008, 2009, and 2010.[2]

Harada has become USL-2 All-League regular by making his fourth consecutive appearance on an All-League team. He was also the Most Valuable Defender finalist in 2009, and earned that award in 2010.[3] He is nominated as 2010 USL Second Division Most Valuable Player.[4]

During the 2008 off-season, several Major League Soccer clubs showed interest in him, and invited to take part in their trials such by Chicago Fire, Real Salt Lake, and San Jose Earthquakes, but due to injury had to return to Palace for the 2009 season.

Following his impressive performances in the 2009 season, Harada went on trial at Baltimore's English parent club, Crystal Palace.[5]

After an unheard 3 months of training with Crystal Palace F.C., he was selected as the "Palace's Other Player Of The Year" on Crystal Palace F.C.'s official club magazine,[6] and featured also on Major League Soccer's expansion team Philadelphia Union's official website as a strong candidate for the club's tryout.[7]

Pittsburgh Riverhounds

On 22 March 2010, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds announced the signing of Harada to a contract for the 2010 season.[8]

While in the second division, Harada won the league's USL Second Division All-League First Team for 4 consecutive years. He re-signed with Pittsburgh, in the USL Pro league, on 21 February 2011.[9]

CE Sabadell FC and Dayton Dutch Lions

After the conclusion of the 2012 season, Harada was invited to tryout with CE Sabadell FC that plays in Spanish Segunda División.[10] Before the USL Pro season started, Harada signed with Dayton Dutch Lions,[11] where he led the club into the playoffs for the first time in club history.

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

On 12 February 2015, The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC announced the signing of Harada for the 2015 season.[12] This will be Harada's 3rd team in USL PRO. Head Coach Steve Trittschuh praised that "Harada has been a great leader for us and role model for the younger players".[13] On June 23, 2015, Harada made his 100th appearance in United Soccer League as the first Japanese in league history.[14] Harado ended his first season with the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC with 2 goals and 2 assists and logged 2,000 minutes of play time.[15]

On January 12, 2016 it was announced that Harada had resigned for Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC for the 2016 USL Pro season.[16]

Hong Kong

Upon conclusion of USL Pro 2013 season, Harada announced to sign with Yokohama FC Hong Kong on a loan deal until 31 January 2014.[17]

Club statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Total
Season Club League AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals
Japan League Emperor's Cup J.League Cup Total
1999Yokohama F. MarinosJ1 League00001010
2002Omiya ArdijaJ2 League2000-20
2003Otsuka PharmaceuticalFootball League27130-301
2005Tokushima VortisJ2 League2000-20
2005ALO's HokurikuFootball League11030-140
United States League Open Cup League Cup Total
2007Crystal Palace BaltimoreUSL Second Division20010-210
2010Pittsburgh Riverhounds17010-180
2011USL Pro18210-192
2013Dayton Dutch Lions24110-251
Hong Kong League FA Cup League Cup Total
2013Yokohama FC Hong KongFirst Division50-50
United States League Open Cup League Cup Total
2014Dayton Dutch LionsUSL Pro251-251
2015Colorado Springs SwitchbacksUSL Pro28220-302
CountryJapan 107470301174
United States 2018120-2138
Hong Kong 500-50
Total 313121903033512

Playing style

Proved as a quality utility player who plays both holding midfielder, and center defender by being selected to All-League First-Team for both positions. Known for his accurate distribution, and play making in the middle as the control tower. Admires the Mexican National Team's Rafael Márquez, and FC Barcelona's Josep Guardiola.

Has been reported about his "the dedicated — almost spartan — approach" with his profession[18]

Honors and awards


  • 2015 - First Japanese to appear in 100 games in United Soccer League
  • 2010 - USL Second Division Most Valuable Player Finalist
  • 2010 - USL Second Division Most Valuable Defender
  • 2010 - USL Second Division All-League First Team
  • 2009 - Crystal Palace F.C.: "Palace's Other Player Of The Year"
  • 2009 - USL Second Division All-League First-Team
  • 2009 - USL Second Division Most Valuable Defender Finalist
  • 2008 - USL Second Division All-League First-Team
  • 2007 - USL Second Division All-League Second-Team



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