When St. Charles East’s soccer team needed to develop an attack, junior Sebastian Carranza sometimes was able to “create something out of almost nothing.”
Just ask Saints coach Vince DiNuzzo.
“He keeps the center back on their toes and keeps the outside backs honest,” DiNuzzo said. “I think his playmaking and his ability back to goal is something that, I think, it gets overlooked.”
Carranza, who earned his third consecutive all-DuKane Conference selection and scored 20 goals and had 13 assists this season, is the 2021 Kane County Chronicle Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
Carranza was second in DuKane Conference Player of the Year voting and was an All-State selection by the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association.
“The playmaking piece [13 assists] is something that you just don’t see. I really don’t see that many assists from a true nine [center-forward],” DiNuzzo said.
“He’s got to be up there with some of the top [players in the state],” DiNuzzo said. “He’s different. I think that’s the biggest thing. He’s just different in terms of the way he plays. If you see him play, and you like the game, you’re going to like the kid.”
Carranza’s offensive talent was evident during the course of a soccer match, but his impact defensively probably shouldn’t be overlooked for a Saints team that went 12-4-3 and 9-2-3 in the DuKane Conference for second place.
“[He] does the dirty work, the gritty stuff. He works his butt off defensively to apply pressure on the center backs and the goalkeeper,” DiNuzzo said. “I would say, yeah, he’s got to be up there with some of the best players I’ve had [in the program]. The players around him, for sure, [help] make him what he is but he just elevates us to a point where we’re a different team when he’s on the field.”
What motivates Carranza to be a special player is his parents and family lineage within the game of soccer. Both of his parents played soccer at West Chicago High School. Carranza’s father, Juan, played professionally for the Chicago Sting from 1997-98 as a forward.
Carranza is the third member of his family to move through East’s strong soccer program. His older sisters, Chantel and Alondra, play in college at Grand Valley State and St. Cloud State, respectively.
“[My dad] kind of helped me just want to be the best,” Carranza said. “Because he got All-State [recognition] when he first moved here his junior and senior year and then he went on to play pro. So him getting All-State … kind of is pushing me to follow in his footsteps.”
Carranza is close friends with St. Charles North’s Luke Persenico, who turned in a phenomenal senior season with 24 goals – one shy of the program record – and had five assists to win the DuKane Conference Golden Boot award.
Carranza and Persenico play on the same club team, Campton United.
“Luke is a great player,” Carranza said. “He’s really, really skillful. His left foot is so dangerous, and [it] caught us off guard a few times this season,” Carranza said with a laugh. “Whenever I saw he scored a goal, I was like, ‘Shoot, I just have to try and at least try to match that.’ Obviously, he had more goals. I had more assists. … In club, we play really well together.
“He’s a great kid. I love Luke,” Carranza said.
Source: The Daily Chronicle