LA Galaxy is finalizing a deal to sign Japanese center back Maya Yoshida. Yoshida, 34, was a stalwart in the Japanese National Team for the last decade, making 126 appearances from 2010 until his retirement from international play last year.
Yoshida brings a bevy of experiences to a fragile Galaxy backline. Starting off in the Nagoya Grampus academy in his native Japan, Yoshida made his debut for his boyhood club in 2007 before embarking on a lengthy European career.
A three-year stretch with VVV-Venlo began in 2009, lasting just over three seasons. His time in the Eredivisie caught the attention of a newly promoted Southampton following the 2011/2012 season. In England, Yoshida would establish his reputation as a hard worker and fan favorite. Alongside much more notable names like Toby Alderweireld and Virgil van Dijk, Yoshida was always embracing his supporting role.
Yoshida helped to establish Southampton as a Premier League club during his stay, which ended in 2020 after 194 appearances and a brief loan to Sampdoria.
The veteran defender spent the last season with Schalke, and despite being one of their better players, could not save the club from relegation.
Now, in what is likely his final chapter, Yoshida brings his leadership and enthusiasm to the worst defensive team in the Western Conference. The Galaxy has conceded an eye-watering 37 goals, rooting them to the bottom of the conference.