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Battery’s Fidel Barajas, NCFC’s Adrián Pelayo named in Mexico U-17s World Cup squad

By Staff, 10/31/23, 5:25PM EDT


El Tri duo set for tournament in Indonesia in November, bring total of USL representation at tournament to five

The Charleston Battery’s Fidel Barajas and North Carolina FC’s Adrián Pelayo have been selected in Mexico’s squad for the FIFA Men’s U-17 World Cup that kicks off in Indonesia on November 10.

The duo brings the total to five players from the USL Championship and League One who will compete at the tournament, with San Diego Loyal SC goalkeeper Duran Ferree, Birmingham Legion FC midfielder Matthew Corcoran, and Orange County SC forward Bryce Jamison previously having been named in the United States' squad for the tournament.

Barajas has been one of the top teenagers in North America this year, and helped Mexico claim the Concacaf Men’s U-17 Championship in February with three goals and five assists during the tournament in Guatemala. 

Following that success, the 17-year-old produced a breakout first full season with the Battery, having joined the professional ranks with Charleston late in the 2022 campaign. Barajas has recorded five goals and a league-high 11 assists across the USL Championship’s regular season and playoffs to help the side reach this Saturday’s Eastern Conference Final of the 2023 USL Championship Playoffs.

Earlier this month, Barajas became the first USL Championship player to be named to The Guardian’s Next Generation list, made up of 60 of the top 17-year-old players in the world each year.

Pelayo joined North Carolina in September, joining the professional ranks after previously competing in the Portland Timbers’ Academy and for Timbers 2 in MLS NEXT Pro. The defender made six appearances for T2 this season prior to signing with NCFC.

Mexico will open its tournament against Germany on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 7 a.m. ET. The side will then face Venezuela on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 4 a.m. ET before closing the group stage against New Zealand on Saturday, November 18 at 4 a.m. ET.

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