Swope Park Rangers defender Justin Bilyeu announces retirement from professional soccer

Justin Bilyeu warming up - Swope Park Rangers retirement

Swope Park Rangers defender Justin Bilyeu has announced his retirement from professional soccer after a four-year career in the USL Championship and Major League Soccer.

Bilyeu, 25, leaves the sport due to a history of concussions. He will remain under contract with the Rangers for the remainder of 2019 while he receives care from the SPR and Sporting Kansas City medical staff.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Bilyeu joined the New York Red Bulls in the first round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft after a standout four-year career at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Across two seasons in New York, he made four MLS appearances and played 29 USL championship matches for New York Red Bulls II.

Bilyeu spent the second half of the 2017 USL Championship campaign with Rio Grande Valley FC Toros before joining the Rangers in March 2018. He logged 13 appearances for SPR, helping the club to its third straight postseason appearance last fall.