Vancouver Whitecaps' Yohei Takaoka seeks World Cup path through MLS success
The next men’s World Cup takes place in 2026 and when it does, Canada, Mexico and the United States play host.
Known for his ability with the ball at his feet, Takaoka joined the 'Caps in February 2023 after enjoying one of his most successful seasons of his career in 2022, as he won the J1 League title with Yokohama F. Marinos and was named to the league's 2022 Best XI.
Takaoka, who became the fourth Japanese player to sign with Vancouver in the club's MLS era, agreed to a contract through 2024, with a club option for 2025.
YOKOHAMA F. MARINOS
'20-'22: Takaoka originally joined Yokohama F. Marinos in 2020 and went on to record 35 clean sheets in 85 appearances across all competitions for the club. In 2022, Takaoka recorded the second-most clean sheets in the J1 League with 13 across 34 starts as he helped Marinos capture the club’s seventh J1 League title. For his efforts, the keeper was named to the 2022 J1 League Best XI. In 2021, Takaoka also recorded the second most-clean sheets in the league with 15, with Marinos finishing the season as runners-up.
'18-'20: Takaoka made 52 starts across all competitions during three seasons with J1 League side Sagan Tosu.
'14-'18: Takaoka began his career with Yokohama FC, signing his first professional contract in 2014 after coming through the clubs youth system. The goalkeeper went on to make 42 appearances across four seasons with the club.
J LEAGUE U-22 SELECTION
'14 & '15: During his time with Yokohama FC, Takaoka went on loan to J League U-22 Selection, a J3 League team at the time that featured players aged 22 and below. The goalkeeper started two of his four appearances for the side across two separate loan stints in 2014 and 2015.