The Swope Park Rangers will return seven players from the 2018 United Soccer League season, the club announced Friday.
The Rangers have exercised contract options on two players:
- M Rassambek Akhmatov
- F Ethan Vanacore-Decker
Four Sporting KC Academy products remain under contract for 2019:
- M Camilo Benitez
- M Felipe Hernandez
- M Will Little
- F Wilson Harris
The club has also agreed a new contract with defender Justin Bilyeu.
The Rangers 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.
In addition, forward Hadji Barry is out of contract with the club.
Since the club’s inception ahead of the 2016 season, eight players that began with the Rangers have signed MLS contracts with Sporting Kansas City. Three remain under contract with the club heading into the 2019 MLS season: goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas, defender Jaylin Lindsey and midfielder Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal.
The Rangers advanced to the USL Cup Playoffs for the third straight season in 2018, suffering elimination at the hands of Phoenix Rising FC in the Western Conference Semifinals. In their first two years of existence, the Rangers won back-to-back Western Conference Championships, reaching the USL Cup Final in 2016 and 2017.