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Columbus Crew SC select forward Niko Hansen with ninth-overall pick

The Black & Gold go attack with second pick in the first round of the SuperDraft.

MLS: MLS SuperDraft Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

With the ninth pick the MLS SuperDraft, Columbus Crew SC selected University of New Mexico forward Niko Hansen.

Hansen is a 5-foot-10, 170-pound forward who can also play on the wing. He’s good on the ball and has drawn comparisons to new teammate Justin Meram.

“With Niko, he’s shown in this combine and throughout his college career that he can make plays and be a very dangerous attacker,” Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter said.

In four years with New Mexico, Hansen played in 79 games, starting 65. He scored 28 goals and registered 14 assists during his college career.

Despite only starting 12 of 22 games played in 2013, Hansen was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team after leading all freshmen with seven goals, which tied for the team lead. He also tied for eleventh in the NCAA for total goals and total points by a freshman.

As a sophomore, Hansen tied for second on the Lobos with 13 points after scoring five goals and registering three assists. He was named Third Team All-Conference USA after appearing in all 18 games for New Mexico with 14 starts.

Hansen started in all 18 games for the Lobos in 2015, finishing third on the team with three goals and three assists. He was named Second Team All-Conference USA and was MVP of the TLC Plumbing & Utility Invitational.

Senior year was the most productive for Hansen, as the forward scored 13 goals and recorded three assists in 21 games played, all starts. He was named NSCAA Third Team All-American, NSCAA First Team All-Southeast Region, First Team All-Conference USA and Co-SIDA Academic All-American.

Both Hansen and fifth-overall pick Lalas Abubakar out of Dayton will be available on a conference call shortly and Massive Report will provide updates.