The Swope Park Rangers have signed defender Justin Bilyeu, the club announced today. Bilyeu joins the club after spent the latter stages of the 2017 season with Rio Grande Valley FC, having been on the New York Red Bulls’ MLS roster to start the year.
The 24-year-old made 13 appearances for RGV after joining the club on August 2, 2017 when he became an immediate starter. Bilyeu added one goal – the only goal of the game against Reno 1868 FC on September 16, 2017 – and four assists during his time in south Texas.
Prior to joining the Toros, Bilyeu had spent the previous one-and-a-half seasons with the New York Red Bulls, splitting time between the organization’s MLS and USL teams. Bilyeu was selected in the First Round (18th overall) of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft and went on to make a total of 10 appearances for the Red Bulls’ first team in all competitions, representing the club in MLS, U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League play in 2016 and 2017.
Bilyeu played in 29 games for New York Red Bulls II over the last two seasons, scoring one goal and adding four assists. All four assists came in the 2017 season, meaning that he had a combined eight assists from the backline for both the Red Bulls and Rio Grande Valley in USL play last season.
The St. Louis, Missouri native played collegiate soccer at SIU Edwardsville, appearing in 59 games for the Cougars, tallying five goals and seven assists. He was named to the NSCAA Third Team All-West Region and the Second Team All-Missouri Valley Conference. He was also named to the Missouri Valley Conference All-Tournament Team after his junior season. While in college, Bilyeu also made seven appearances for USL Premier Development League club FC Tucson.
Bilyeu attended Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis, where he won a Missouri state championship in 2009, and was voted to the All-State team during his senior year.
Justin Bilyeu (BILL-you)
Born: 2/3/1994 (24 years old)
Weight: 175 lbs.
Last Club: Rio Grande Valley FC (USL)
College: Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri