Peter Vagenas catches on in Vancouver

Veteran midfielder Peter Vagenas, who trained earlier this season with the Galaxy while preparing for an anticipated move to Japan, signed Thursday with the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Vagenas (Pasadena/St. Francis HS and UCLA), 33, was with the Galaxy for nine seasons, including both MLS Cup triumphs, captaining L.A. to the 2005 MLS Cup/U.S. Open Cup double.

A heady central midfielder, Vagenas played the last two seasons with Seattle, was traded to Colorado in November and became a free agent when Colorado declined his contract option in December. He trained a few weeks with the Galaxy while waiting to join a club in Japan, but last month's earthquakes and tsunami put the J-League on hold -- the league resumed play last weekend -- and ended Vagenas' planned move.

Vagenas has played in 223 MLS games, playoffs included, 197 of them starts, and scored 16 goals with 29 assists. He also has played for the U.S. national team three times and was part of the U.S. side that reached the semifinals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

"Peter is an experienced MLS player that reads the game well and is strong technically," Whitecaps head coach Teitur Thordarson said in a statement. "He will bring additional leadership to our squad, as we head into an important stretch of our season."