The Charleston Battery have signed winger Fidel Barajas to his first professional contract, with the 16-year-old having this year represented both the United States and Mexico U-17 youth national teams. | Photo courtesy Ben Clemens / Charleston Battery
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Battery announced on Friday the club had signed 16-year-old winger Fidel Barajas to a multi-year contract, pending league and federation approval. Barajas has represented both the United States and Mexico at the youth international level.
A native of Sacramento, California, Barajas was previously a member of the talented San Jose Earthquakes Academy and competed in the development league MLS NEXT. Barajas inks his first professional deal in joining the Battery.
“I feel euphoric to sign my first professional contract,” said Barajas. “It’s everyone’s dream to be a pro soccer player, and being able to accomplish that at the age of 16, it just feels amazing.
“To all the Battery fans, I can’t wait to have you all come out and cheer us on. I can’t wait for them to see me play with the team, let’s create something special here at the Charleston Battery.”
Barajas has competed previously for both the United States U-17 National Team, for which he has made five appearances, and the Mexico U-17 National Team, for which he has played three times.
Barajas competed in a UEFA Development Tournament in May 2022 with the United States, playing against the youth squads of Portugal, Italy and Belgium. The winger tallied an assist in the side’s 3-0 victory against Belgium. Barajas has also taken the field against the youth teams of Argentina and Uruguay.
He more recently represented the Mexico U-17s at the International Dream Cup in Japan in June 2022. Barajas featured in matches against Japan, South Korea and Uruguay, scoring one goal against South Korea and contributing two assists against Uruguay.
Battery Head Coach Conor Casey is looking forward to integrating Barajas into the squad.
“Fidel is a very talented young player who has been impressive; he's smart, crafty on the ball and has very good technique,” said Casey. “He's played with the U.S. youth national team and the Mexico youth national team, and both countries are after him as he’s one of the bigger names in the youth game right now.
“We're just so excited that he chose the Charleston Battery to start his professional career. We're a club that wants to be a place where young players can come through, develop, perform and help us win games. So, I think it's a great move for the club to have put in the work to be able to recruit a player like him.”
Barajas attended Elk Grove Charter School and was ranked the No. 5 player in the U.S. by TopDrawerSoccer for the 2024 high school graduation class this past June.
Prior to joining the Earthquakes Academy, Barajas was a member of fellow USL Championship club Sacramento Republic FC’s academy in 2020 and youth club FC Sacramento from 2017 to 2019.
The winger holds dual citizenship with the U.S. and Mexico, with his family hailing from Michoacán, Mexico.