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Yamada Makes Name For Himself In The U.S.

Takuya Yamada is known as "Mr. Verdy" and "The Terminator" to many over in Japan because of his extensive and impressive soccer career so far. But now he is making a name for himself over here in the States.

Yamada's desire to play abroad made the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies an ideal next step in his career; he had never played for an American team before the Rowdies and wanted to add more to his outstanding resume.

As one of the older players on the squad, Yamada has easily fallen into a leadership role on and off the field.  With his vast experience, it is easy to see why many of the players look to him for advice and guidance.

"I hope that I can share my experiences in an orderly fashion to my teammates both on and off the pitch, hoping that, even if only slightly, it would lead the team for the positive," said Yamada.

In 1997, Yamada began his professional career after signing with Tokyo Verdy. Over the next eight years with the Tokyo Verdy, he made more than 235 appearances and scored more than 22 goals; hence his nickname "Mr. Verdy."

Yamada also led his team to victories at the 2005 J League Xerox Super Cup and the 2004 J League Emperor's Cup. He had four caps with the Japanese National Team between 2003 and 2004. Before joining the Rowdies, Yamada played at Sagan Tosu in the Japan Professional League where he scored six goals in 43 appearances.

During his time here in the States, Yamada has been finding the differences in American soccer compared to the Japanese style of play.

"I wouldn't say it's more challenging [American style], but more intense.  I think that Japanese soccer is better in quickness, and maybe requires more running, whereas American soccer is better in fighting and winning the ball, and has more physical contact."

Yamada is one of four Rowdies players to have played in all 25 games. He has also started in 22 of those 25 matches, and his 1,949 minutes played is the fourth-highest amount on the Rowdies roster.

Of his future goals, "I would like to continue to be involved in soccer, and would want to move up the social status of soccer and sports. I also want to share how wonderful this global sport is to as many people as possible in both Japan and the US," said Yamada. "Through this, I hope to contribute and enrich the world.  For this, of course I am going to continue to play and work hard. But down the road, I'm interested in pursuing careers in coaching, youth development and sports management."

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USL Conference PLD PTS
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NSC Minnesota 30 40
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FC Tampa Bay 29 29