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Minnesota United sign former Dynamo midfielder Niko Hansen

Oct 18, 2020; Saint Paul, MN, Saint Paul, MN, USA; Houston Dynamo midfielder Niko Hansen (12) celebrates after scoring a goal against Minnesota United in the second half at Allianz Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota United signed veteran midfielder Niko Hansen on Thursday.

The Loons acquired his MLS rights from the Houston Dynamo in exchange for $125,000 in general allocation money.

Hansen, 26, tallied two goals and one assist in 17 games (eight starts) for the Dynamo in 2020.

Drafted ninth overall in 2017 by the Columbus Crew, the Denmark native has six goals and six assists in 66 games (24 starts) with Columbus (2017-19) and Houston (2019-20).

“We’ve liked Niko since he was at the University of New Mexico,” Minnesota head coach Adrian Heath said in a statement. “We spoke with both Ethan (Finlay) and Wil (Trapp) who played with him in Columbus, and they just confirmed what we already knew: Niko is an incredibly gifted and athletic player, who can play a lot of different spots on the field. We know how important that is, especially this year with more condensed scheduling.”

Hansen tallied 28 goals and 14 assists in 79 games at New Mexico, earning first team All-Conference USA honors as a 2016 senior.

“He knows the league, he knows the opponents,” Heath said. “His versatility is going to be huge for us this year. He’s someone I’ve always wanted to work with. His pace is a game-changer. Having coached against him we always felt he was going to be a handful for us, so it’s nice to finally have him on our side.”

Minnesota opens the 2021 MLS regular season on the road against the Seattle Sounders on April 16.

–Field Level Media