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Tasked with making two top-10 picks in the MLS SuperDraft for the first time since 2006, Crew SC made one selection each on offense and defense.With the No. 5 pick, the Crew selected Dayton center back Lalas Abubakar. At No. 9, the team picked New Mexico...

MLS | Crew SC selects two players in SuperDraft

Tasked with making two top-10 picks in the MLS SuperDraft for the first time since 2006, Crew SC made one selection each on offense and defense.With the No. 5 pick, the Crew selected Dayton center back Lalas Abubakar. At No. 9, the team picked New Mexico...

MLS | Crew SC selects two players in SuperDraft

Tasked with making two top-10 picks in the MLS SuperDraft for the first time since 2006, Crew SC made one selection each on offense and defense.

With the No. 5 pick, the Crew selected Dayton center back Lalas Abubakar. At No. 9, the team picked New Mexico forward/wing Niko Hansen.

Abubakar, a 6-foot-1 defender originally from Accra, Ghana, was widely regarded as one of the top defensive players available.

He has played with Ghana’s U-20 national team and could provide depth for a Crew central defense that has added Maryland All-American Alex Crognale, Major League Soccer LS veteran Josh Williams and designated player Jonathan Mensah, also from Ghana, this offseason.

“I want to thank the Columbus Crew organization for believing in me and giving me a great opportunity,” Abubakar said at the podium after his selection. “I really appreciate it. I can’t wait to start with the club.”

Hansen, a 5-10, 170-pound forward, scored 13 goals 2016 and 28 career goals during his four years with the Lobos. He played high school soccer in the Sacramento area, but is originally from Denmark.

“Thank you again to Columbus. I can’t wait to be out there and meet the fans and be in the city,” he said moments after his selection.

Crew SC is slated to make two more picks — one each in the third and fourth rounds — which will take place Tuesday via teleconference.

aerickson@dispatch.com

@AEricksonCD

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