Adelaide United have announced the signing of Michael Maria, a Curacao international, for the looming A-League season.
Adelaide United have signed a left-back with international experience for Curacao for the looming A-League season.
Michael Maria, a 24-year-old who has played 20 internationals for the Dutch Caribbean island, will link again with Adelaide's new coach Gertjan Verbeek.
Maria, who has played under Verbeek in Germany and the Netherlands, most recently played for Charlotte Independence in the United States' second-tier.
Maria said the opportunity to reconnect with Verbeek, was too good to resist.
“It feels really good to be joining Adelaide United,” Maria explained. “I saw the boys’ game on Tuesday night and I was impressed with what I saw at such an early time in the pre-season.
“When I heard from Gertjan, he didn’t have to say much at all to convince me because I’ve missed him as my coach and I trust him as a person and his football plan.
“I’ve worked with Gertjan twice before, first at Bochum and then when I was at FC Twente, and I’ve wanted to be his player again.
“He’s taught me to be a positive, courageous, and attacking player that loves to have the ball and that’s how I enjoy the game the most.
“I’m very happy that he and the club wanted me to help improve the squad, so I can’t wait to get started.”
Adelaide United Director of Football, Bruce Djite, said Maria’s versatility and technical qualities will undoubtedly benefit the squad ahead of the new season.
“As our supporters and our players would expect, all the work we are doing in the transfer market is very calculated and strategic,” Djite said.
“I have been speaking to Michaël and his management team for a number of weeks and we are very happy to have secured his services for the next two seasons.
“Michaël’s ability to be deployed anywhere on the left side of the park, but also as a defensive midfielder, makes him very valuable to us.
“Some of Michaël’s greatest strengths are his many offensive attributes and his willingness to get forward, which suits the footballing philosophy and style of play Gertjan is working to implement.
“Having worked with Michaël before, Gertjan knows the qualities he possesses and how Michaël will complement our current group.”
Maria, who will wear the No. 5 shirt, becomes Verbeek’s second signing and 21st contracted player ahead of the 2019/20 season and will begin pre-season training immediately.