Galaxy defender Miki Yamane continues to adapt to new Major League Soccer environment

After a career in Japan, Miki Yamane moved to the United States and Major League Soccer this season, joining the Galaxy.

It’s a decision that requires a lot of adaptation, on and off the field, but in the first weeks the results have been good.

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

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

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

“I thought he came in very aggressive and he was flying, trusting his instincts to play. I thought he got off to a good start,” Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said. “I think as several things have happened on his end, I think he feels responsible for a few situations that made him maybe a little passive in a few games.

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

Vanney highlighted Yamane’s awarded penalty in the 2-1 loss to LAFC on April 6 as one of the instances that affected Yamane.

“He takes it hard because it becomes a goal against us and then we lose the game,” Vanney said. “We had a few set pieces where the space at the near post was gained (by the opposition) and they are supposed to control the space at the near post.

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

Yamane spoke about his adjustments on Friday.

“He loves it in Los Angeles,” said Galaxy chiropractor Shunta Shimizu, translating for Yamane. “It’s really different living in Japan, it’s not as difficult as he thought… he was able to adapt.

“He feels like the J-League is more about teamwork and MLS is more about individual skills and he had a hard time adapting. He had to find a way to handle individual situations.

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

“They’ve played well the last few 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 to be a tough match. For us, we have to keep trying to be the best version of ourselves. We have to get off to a better start and against these teams against whom it is difficult to score.

“You can’t concede goals easily because your chances will be more and more rare, so we have to be solid on the defensive side, stay connected and play our moments, be solid in possession and we can’t give away chances. to run free over us.

California Daily Newspapers

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