HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo have made several changes during their offseason — including signing goalkeeper Marko Marić on a permanent transfer from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in the German Bundesliga, the club announced Monday.
The transfer was made by utilizing Targeted Allocation Money and the 24-year-old is likely to be the Day One starter after the Dynamo declined to pick up Tyler Deric’s option and traded Joe Willis to Nashville SC. Marić joins Michael Nelson as the only goalkeepers on Houston’s current roster.
Marić appeared in 67 matches, recording 13 clean sheets over three seasons on loan with Lillestrøm SK in the Eliteserien, Norway’s top flight, including seven clean sheets in 30 league appearances in 2019 and in 2018, he had four shutouts in 25 league appearances.
“We are very pleased as a club to secure the full transfer of Marko Marić from Hoffenheim. His commanding presence in goal, excellent shot-stopping ability and winning mentality will make an immediate impact to our team,” Dynamo Senior Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan said in a statement.
The goalkeeper was initially transferred to Hoffenheim from Rapid Vienna and loaned to Lechia Gdansk in Poland’s First Division for two seasons.
During his time there, Marić had seven clean sheets in 25 league matches for Lechia.
Welcome to Houston, Marko Marić 🤘
— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) January 13, 2020
Once in Hannover 96 in the German Bundesliga, Marić accumulated five clean sheets in 15 appearances.
“At 24 years old, Marko already has over 125 first-team appearances in Europe, and we are confident working with our staff that he can continue to raise his level individually and for our group,” Jordan said.
Although he is still young, Marić already has good international experience, beginning his youth international career with Austria before switching to Croatia in 2012. He made 29 appearances the U-16, U-17, and U-19 levels.
‘La Naranja‘ now have 25 players under contract for the 2020 season. Marić will occupy an international roster slot, and with his addition, the Dynamo now have eight international players under contract for 2020.