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    Galaxy’s Miki Yamane adapting to new surroundings
    • May 4, 2024

    After a career in Japan, Miki Yamane made the move to the U.S. and Major League Soccer this season, joining the Galaxy.

    It’s a move with many adaptations, on and off the field, but through the early weeks the returns have been good.

    “You can see he’s adjusting to many things,” Galaxy defender Maya Yoshida said of Yamane. “Many things are new for him. For him, it’s hard, but it’s good to be fresh after a long time in J-League with the same club. Everything is new for him.”

    Yoshida, who is also Japanese, left Japan early his professional career and played in several stops in Europe before joining the Galaxy. Yamane, 30, spent his entire career in Japan, debuting with Shonan Bellmare in 2016, before making the move.

    As the Galaxy (5-2-3, 18 points) heads into Seattle for a second meeting with the Sounders (2-5-3, 9 points), Yamane has played nine of the 10 games.

    “I think he came in super aggressive and was flying, trusting his instincts in the game. I thought he got off to a great start,” Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said. “I think as a couple of things have sort of happened on his side, I think he feels responsible for a couple of situations that has made him maybe a touch passive in a few games.

    “We want him to not worry about the things that have happened and trust himself.”

    Vanney pointed to the penalty kick that Yamane gave up in the 2-1 loss to LAFC on April 6 as one of those instances that have affected Yamane.

    “He takes that hard because that becomes a goal against us and then we lose the game,” Vanney said. “We’ve had a couple of set pieces where near-post space was won (by the opposition) and he’s supposed to control the near-post space.

    “He takes that hard, I think it’s more emotionally … the league is challenging, there’s going to be challenges, not everything is going to perfect and it’s being able to get beyond that. I want to move forward, you can’t change anything in the past. You have a better chance in our league, if you stay aggressive, of good things happening.”

    Yamane talked about his adjustments Friday.

    “He loves it in L.A.,” Galaxy chiropractor Shunta Shimizu said, translating for Yamane. “It is definitely different than living in Japan, it’s not as challenging as he thought … he’s been able to adjust.

    “He feels like J-League is more teamwork oriented and MLS is more individual skills and he had a hard time adjusting. He had to figure it out of how to handle the individual situations.”

    Yamane and the Galaxy head into a difficult road trip. The Galaxy haven’t won in Seattle since 2016 and they will be without Riqui Puig (one-game suspension due to yellow-card accumulation) and Dejan Joveljic (hip injury).

    “They’ve played well in recent games, they’ve dealt with some injuries, but as guys get healthy and available, they have speed and are very difficult to break down,” Vanney said of the Sounders. “I expect it’s going to be a difficult game. For us, we’ve got to continue to try to be the best version of us. We have to get off to a better start and against these teams that are hard to score against.

    “You can’t concede goals easily because your chances are going to be fewer and far between, so we need to be solid on the defensive side, stay connected and play our moments, be solid in possession and we can’t give the chances to run free on us.”

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    The newest Galaxy acquisition, defender Emiro Garces, arrived this week and joined in first-team training Friday. Vanney said Garces, on loan from Deportivo Pereira in Colombia, will be available and on the trip, but will likely not see any action.

    “He’s fast to close, great defensive anticipation, gets out to guys early, has no problem getting tight,” Vanney said. “We like him. He brings a different layer to our defenders.”


    When: 3:45 p.m. Sunday

    Where: Lumen Field; Seattle

    TV: FS1, Apple TV (free)

    ​ Orange County Register