Transfer Tracker

LA Galaxy sign defender Maya Yoshida

Maya Yoshida Transfer


The LA Galaxy have acquired a Japan national team all-time great, announcing Thursday they have signed defender Maya Yoshida.

Yoshida, 34, is under contract through the 2024 MLS season. The center back was a free agent after last playing for FC Schalke 04 in the German Bundesliga.

"We are pleased to welcome Maya to the LA Galaxy," head coach and sporting director Greg Vanney said in a release. "Maya is a top center back who brings exceptional experience and leadership qualities to our team. We look forward to integrating him into our group moving forward."

Yoshida played at the last three FIFA World Cups for Japan, contributing to 126 overall appearances (the third-most in program history). He captained the Samurai Blue last fall at Qatar 2022 as they fell to Croatia in the Round of 16.

During his club career, Yoshida has tallied 28 goals and 15 assists in 463 appearances. Across the last dozen years, he's played over 150 times for Southampton in the English Premier League, plus featured extensively for Serie A side Sampdoria (Italy) and VVV-Venlo (Netherlands) in the Eredivisie, all prior to his time at Schalke.

In Yoshida, LA get another experienced center back after Uruguay international Martín Cáceres suffered a long-term knee injury. The club faced sanctions where they couldn't sign players from abroad during the Secondary Transfer Window (July 5 to Aug. 2), but could sign free agents before the Roster Freeze Date on Sept. 15.

The Galaxy face an uphill climb to make the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs, sitting seven points off the Western Conference place in 13th place with a dozen games to play.