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Football: Marinos goalkeeper Takaoka to join Vancouver in MLS

Yohei Takaoka. (Photo courtesy of J-League/Kyodo)

YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) -- Yohei Takaoka, the first-choice goalkeeper of J-League champions Yokohama F Marinos, is set to join Major League Soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps FC, sources familiar with the matter said Saturday.

    The 26-year-old Takaoka played all 34 league matches in Marinos' title-winning campaign last year and was named in the J-League Best XI for the first time in his career.

    The 2023 season for North America's MLS begins in late February.

    "Takaoka leaves the team on Feb. 4 for talks on a planned transfer to an overseas club and related preparations," Marinos said in a press release the same day.

    Takaoka joined Marinos late in 2020 after stints with Yokohama FC and Sagan Tosu.

    Whitecaps FC were ninth in the 14-team Western Conference last season.

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