LA Galaxy sign veteran defender Maya Yoshida on free transfer from Schalke

  • Yoshida has plenty of experience in Europe with Southampton, Sampdoria
  • Featured at three different World Cups with Japan
  • Brings defensive know-how to LA backline
Maya Yoshida joins LA Galaxy
Maya Yoshida joins LA Galaxy / Dean Mouhtaropoulos/GettyImages

LA Galaxy have bolstered their backline with the signing of center-back Maya Yoshida on a free transfer from 2. Bundesliga side Schalke 04.

With center-back Martin Caceres out for the rest of season through injury and Sega Coulibaly being waived in late June, the Galaxy had to bring in reinforcements to their defense, and they've done just that by bringing in the Japan international Yoshida.

The 34-year-old brings loads of European experience to the struggling Galaxy, as he featured for Sampdoria in the Italian Serie A, Southampton in English Premier League, VVV-Venlo in the Dutch Eredivisie, and most recently the German Bundesliga with Schalke.

Yoshida made nearly 200 appearances with the Saints, and also featured at three different FIFA World Cups (2014, 2018, and 2022 editions) for his nation, making 126 appearances for Japan and scoring 12 goals in the process. Yoshida now joins LA on a deal through the 2024 season.

"We are pleased to welcome Maya to the LA Galaxy," sporting director and head coach Greg Vanney said. "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 joined after the league's secondary transfer window closed (July 5 - August 2) because of LA's violations of MLS roster and salary budget guidelines. This meant that the Galaxy could only sign players from abroad once the window closed, meaning they'd only be able to sign free agents.

The Galaxy, who are in 13th place in the Western Conference with 22 points from 22 games, won't be in action again until August 20 when league play resumes when they take on Real Salt Lake at home at Dignity Health Sports Park, and Yoshida could be in line for his debut with the Los Angeles club.

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