June 22nd, 2024

Vancouver Whitecaps sign Japanese goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka to two-year deal

By The Canadian Press on February 17, 2023.

The Vancouver Whitecaps have added to their depth in net, signing Japanese goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka to a two-year deal. Takaoka appears in this undated handout. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Vancouver Whitecaps *MANDATORY CREDIT*

VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Whitecaps have added to their depth in net, signing Japanese goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka to a two-year deal.

The ‘Caps announced the news Friday, saying the agreement includes a club option for the 2025 season and that Takeda will occupy an international roster spot pending receipt of his international transfer certificate and work permit.

The 26-year-old ‘keeper comes to Vancouver from Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan’s J1 League, where he has recorded 35 clean sheets in 85 appearances across all competitions and was named to the league’s best 11 last season.

Whitecaps sporting director Axel Schuster says in a release that Vancouver wanted to add some experience to its goalkeeper group, and that Takaoka brings a “winning mentality” to the club.

Takaoka, a five-foot-11, 175-pound native of Yokohama, Japan, joins 23-year-old Canadian ‘keeper Thomas Hasal, who posted a 6-9-2 record with four clean sheets for the ‘Caps last season.

The Whitecaps are currently completing pre-season training in Palm Springs, Calif., and will host Real Salt Lake on Feb. 25 to kick off the Major League Soccer Season.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 17, 2023.

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