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Elk Grove Citizen

Elk Grove Charter School Alumnus Barajas Getting Attention

Apr 18, 2024 04:02PM ● By Alejandro Barron

Fidel Barajas. Photo courtesy of Real Salt Lake

ELK GROVE, CA (MPG) - The young prospect of Major League Soccer club Real Salt Lake and a member of the Mexican National Team youth system is an Elk Grove Charter School alumnus and Sacramento native, midfielder Fidel Barajas. 

Barajas, 18, started in the Sacramento Republic’s and San Jose Earthquakes academy when he signed a professional contract with United Soccer League Championship Club Charleston Battery in 2022 at age 15. 

In May 2022, Barajas made five appearances for the US National Team under-17 squad in the UEFA Development Tournament, where he assisted for a goal, but by June of the same year, Barajas decided to represent the Mexican National Team. 

In his tournament debut for Mexico in June 2022 at the International Dream Cup in Japan, Barajas scored a goal against South Korea and two assists against Uruguay. By that October at the UNCAF FIFA Forward U-16 Tournament, he scored a goal with four assists. 

In 2023, the Husky alumnus played in the CONCACAF U-17 Championship where he led Mexico to a tournament win with three goals and five assists. This was only the beginning for Barajas on the international stage as he played in the U-17 World Cup in Indonesia. 

Against New Zealand on the world stage, Barajas scored a goal and logged an assist against Venezuela where rumors began to go wild about him being transferred to some of the best clubs in the world. 

Following this tournament, Barajas was listed by the British publication The Guardian among the 60 best talents born in 2006. 

In Barajas’ first full season with the Charleston Battery in 2023, he logged five goals and 11 assists in 32 matches across the regular season and playoffs as he was named the USL Championship Young Player of the Year. 

Amid rumors of a transfer to the best clubs in Europe, Barajas transferred from the second tier of US soccer to the topflight MLS club Real Salt Lake, where they paid a $250,000 transfer fee to Charleston. 

Barajas turned 18 on April 5 and is getting minutes off the bench for RSL, where he has logged two assists in six matches and was named to the Team of the Matchday squad for Matchday Six, the game in which he got his first two MLS assists. 

After RSL’s matchup on Feb. 21 against Inter Miami, Barajas took to social media to share a picture with Argentine superstar Lionel Messi, someone who was once a young prospect making a name for himself as a teenager like Barajas is now doing.