Football: Marinos announce Best XI keeper Takaoka's move to Vancouver

J-League first-division champions Yokohama F Marinos officially announced the transfer Saturday of goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka to Vancouver Whitecaps FC of North America's Major League Soccer.

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.

According to the Whitecaps, Takaoka's contract runs until next year, with an option for a one-year extension.

"I'm ready to prove I have chosen the right path," Takaoka said in a statement from Marinos.

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

Whitecaps sporting director Axel Schuster said the goalkeeper brings a "winning mentality" to the club, which finished ninth in MLS' 14-team Western Conference last season.

"When we learned Yohei was an option, we acted quickly," Schuster said.

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