TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
To sign Barajas, RSL obtained the top spot in the MLS waiver order from Toronto FC. In exchange, they traded $50,000 in 2024 General Allocation Money (GAM) and the No. 17 overall waiver position.
The 17-year-old, who spent part of his youth career with the San Jose Earthquakes, is under contract through the 2026 MLS season with options for 2027-28.
"Fidel's obviously a very, very talented young player, able to represent both US and Mexico at the youth national team level,” RSL sporting director Kurt Schmid said in a statement. "Fidel is technical. He's got a great left foot. He has the ability to beat guys 1v1 from either flank. He has great vision on the field. He has good awareness. He's a player that's been highly thought of throughout youth soccer in this country."
While at Charleston, Barajas was named the 2023 USL Championship Young Player of the Year and tallied 5g/13a in 37 games across all competitions. He was also a key player for Mexico at the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup after they won the 2023 Concacaf U-17 Championship. This past year, Barajas was named to The Guardian's "Next Generation" list of top 2006-born, rising talents in global soccer.
Notably, this is RSL's second youth-centric addition from the USL Championship (second division) after they previously landed US youth international midfielder Diego Luna from El Paso Locomotive in June 2022.
"I'm really excited, especially going from USL to MLS and picking an amazing club like Real Salt Lake. I’m just really excited,” said Barajas. "I look at players like Diego Luna and the history of the club, how RSL brings along young talents and provides them minutes from the first game and opens up possibilities to go to Europe. This is the direction I want to go and the pathway I want to take. This is why I think RSL provides the perfect opportunity."
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