TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
Minnesota United have signed midfielder Niko Hansen, the club announced Thursday. The Loons acquired his MLS rights from the Houston Dynamo in exchange for $125,000 General Allocation Money.
Hansen, 26, made 21 appearances (eight starts) in a year and a half with the Dynamo, scoring twice. He was originally selected No. 9 overall in 2017 SuperDraft by Columbus Crew SC and went on to make 45 appearances for the club before heading to Houston.
“We’ve liked Niko since he was at the University of New Mexico,” head coach Adrian Heath said in a club 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 was a standout at the University of New Mexico prior to joining MLS. He had 28 goals and 14 assists over 79 appearances (65 starts), earning NSCAA Third Team All-American, NSCAA First Team All-Southeast Region and First Team All-Conference USA honors in his senior season in 2016.
"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.”
The winger adds depth to Minnesota's attacking group behind the likes of Robin Lod, Ethan Findlay and Emanuel Reynoso.