Signing news: International defender Maria joins Verbeek’s Reds revolution

Gertjan Verbeek has made his second signing for Adelaide United, bringing in Curacao international Michaël Maria.

The 24-year-old has put pen-to-paper on a two-deal with the Reds and joins Riley McGree as new additions to the squad for the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season.

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Maria, who has played 20 times for his country, can play either at left-back or in midfield and arrives in Adelaide having recently played at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the USA.

“It feels really good to be joining Adelaide United,” Maria said. “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.”

The signing of Maria is a reunion of sorts for Verbeek, who handed the youngster his senior debut when he was manager at German side Vfl Bochum.

The Reds boss also signed the Netherlands-born youngster last season while working at FC Twente.

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Maria, who started his youth career at Dutch giants PSV, has played in both the Netherlands and Germany, while his most recent club was Charlotte Independence in the American USL Championship.

“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," Adelaide United Director of Football Bruce Djite said.

“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.” 

The versatile Maria can play both as a full-back or in central midfield
The versatile Maria can play both as a fullback or in central midfield
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