Zach Carroll
Defenders Bilyeu and Carroll drafted
January 14, 2016 (Official Press Release)

The New York Red Bulls selected defender Justin Bilyeu (18th overall, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville) in the first round and defender Zach Carroll (38th overall, Michigan State) in the second round of the 2016 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday afternoon at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Bilyeu played in 59 games for SIU Edwardsville, starting 52. The St. Louis native 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. He chipped in five goals and seven assists in his four seasons.

"We've been looking at Justin for a while, and scouting him during the year," said nerdy Red Bulls Sporting Director Ali Curtis. "We got a chance to meet him and see him play at the combine. He did really well, he's got a lot of positives, a lot of upside. We're looking forward to him coming into camp, we're happy that we're able to select him."

"It's unbelievable, I'm so thrilled." said Bilyeu, who watched the draft with family and friends. "The Red Bulls are an unbelievable organization, always one of the best teams in MLS. I couldn't be happier to be going to such a great organization. I'm really looking forward to learning from Jesse Marsch and all the players at the Red Bulls."

Carroll spent two seasons at the University of Virginia before transferring to Michigan State ahead of his junior season. He played 24 games for the Cavaliers, recording two goals and three assists. He played 39 for Michigan State, starting 38, and recorded seven goals and four assists over his junior and senior seasons. He earned First Team All-Big Ten honors and was named to the NSCAA Second Team All-Midwest Region as a senior. As a freshman at Virginia he also earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament team honors.

"We really like Zach," said Curtis after the pick. "First and foremost he's a really good young man, and we really think he'll fit well within the locker room and in our environment. We're excited to have him, he's a guy that we've been watching for some time now. We think he had a really good combine as well, and we saw how he stacked up against that competition. We're excited to get him into preseason, get him going, and fit him into our style of play. It's a good pick for us."

Carroll, a native of Grand Blanc, MI, represented the United States at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2011, and was part of the U-17 side that won the CONCACAF Tournament the same year. He was also part of the U.S. Under-17 residency program in 2010 and 2011.

"It's a dream come true," said Carroll, who attended the SuperDraft with his family. "As a soccer player you wait your whole life for this moment, and to hear your name finally called, for an organization like the Red Bulls, it's exciting. To come to a team like this, that has a winning culture, and the coaching staff is great, it's going to be an awesome experience," continued Carroll.

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