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Bilyeu Re-Signs as Rangers Make Roster Moves

By Staff, 12/03/18, 9:12AM EST


2018 USL 20 Under 20 selection Hernandez set for third season with Swope Park

Swope Park Rangers defender Justin Bilyeu in action against San Antonio FC earlier this season. | Photo courtesy Darren Abate / San Antonio FC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Swope Park Rangers announced on Friday they had signed defender Justin Bilyeu to a new contract for the 2019 USL Championship season, making the center back one of seven players that will return to the club from the 2018 campaign.

The club also announced it had exercised contract options on midfielder Rassambek Akhmatov and forward Ethan Vanacore-Decker, while four Sporting KC Academy products remain under contract for 2019 including 2018 USL 20 Under 20 selection Felipe Hernandez, fellow midfielders Camilo Benitez and Will Little, and forward Wilson Harris.

Bilyeu made 12 appearances for the Rangers in the 2018 USL Championship season and won 52 of 91 duels and 18 of 27 aerial duels while recording 23 clearances and 19 interceptions. This past season he passed 50 appearances in the USL Championship after previous stints with the New York Red Bulls II and Rio Grande Valley FC.

Hernandez was named the No. 5 player in the 2018 USL 20 Under 20 as he recorded 34 appearances and finished third on the Rangers in minutes as the club returned to the USL Cup Playoffs for a third consecutive season. Hernandez recorded two goals, three assists and 40 key passes in his second season with the club.

2018 USL Championship All-League selection Hadji Barry is out of contract with the club, while the Rangers announced they had declined options on goalkeepers Christian Herrera and Darrin MacLeod, defenders Dakota Barnathan, Thierry Catherine, Matt Lewis, Parker Maher and Bryam Rebellon, midfielders Chase Minter and Matheus Silva and forwards Jose Barragan and Tyler Blackwood.

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