The Houston Dynamo acquired goalkeeper Marko Marić on a permanent transfer from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in the German Bundesliga utilizing Targeted Allocation Money, the club announced today. The transfer is pending receipt of his P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate.
The 24-year-old 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. In 2018, his second year with the club, he posted four clean sheets in 25 league appearances and helped Lillestrøm reach the semifinals of the Cupen, or Norwegian Football Cup. Marić claimed the 2017 Norwegian Football Cup with Lillestrøm SK and earned a spot in the Europa League qualification round playing against LASK from the Austrian Bundesliga in 2018.
“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,” said Dynamo Senior Vice President and General Manager Matt Jordan. “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.”
The goalkeeper was initially transferred to Hoffenheim from Rapid Vienna on July 1, 2015 and loaned to Lechia Gdansk in Poland’s First Division for two seasons. Marić finished with seven clean sheets in 25 league matches for Lechia. Following his time in Poland, the shot stopper was loaned to Hannover 96 in the German Bundesliga and he continued his development with five clean sheets in 15 appearances across all competitions.
Born in Vienna, Austria, Marić is a product of the well-renowned Rapid Vienna Academy and made his professional debut as an 18-year-old in a 5-2 victory over SV Reid on May 11, 2014. The goalkeeper earned his first clean sheet later that season in a 1-0 victory over SV Wallern in the Second Round of the ÖFB-Cup, Austria’s domestic cup tournament. Marić finished with three clean sheets in nine appearances across all competitions for his boyhood club.
Marić began his youth international career with Austria before filing a one-time switch to Croatia in 2012. He went on to make 29 appearances the U-16, U-17 and U-19 levels and was a member of the Croatia team at the 2013 U-17 FIFA World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
With the addition of Marić, the Dynamo 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.