By Adam Kolb / Co-Sports Editor
From starting his soccer career playing in the academy soccer system in Brazil to moving to the United States to play college soccer in 2014, and now working as the assistant coach for the Hutchinson Community College women’s soccer team, it’s fair to say that Gonzalo Carranza has had quite the journey.
Growing up in Brazil, soccer had a huge impact on Carranza during his childhood, and that impact helped him when he moved to the U.S.
“Like most South American kids, it was surrounded by soccer,” Carranza said. “From playing in the streets with friends to trying to pursue a professional career. I was lucky enough to have the correct guidance, where my education was still important. With that, I made the move to the U.S. to play college soccer. The change was smooth because I understood from the get-go how good of an opportunity it was.”
While it may have been a smooth transition from Brazil to the U.S., the change from player to coach was a little more difficult for Carranza.
However, by getting his foot into the door early by coaching youth soccer, it opened him up to many opportunities.
“It was challenging at times, but all for the good of my long-term development as a coach,” Carranza said. “With time, bigger opportunities presented themselves, and that’s when it started getting serious. I went from coaching kids that were just starting to give their first touches on the ball, to players sometimes older than myself that had national and international appearances for their countries.
“I think it all helped mold the coach I am nowadays, and also makes me realize there is always more to learn and grow.”
Carranza is no stranger to coaching college soccer, as this is his third college coaching gig. In 2016, he coached men’s and women’s soccer at his junior-college alma mater Anoka Ramsey CC, then coached men’s soccer at Bethel College in 2019, before joining HutchCC in 2020.
At HutchCC he will join forces with longtime Blue Dragon coach Sammy Lane, who Carranza sees as a great advisor to him. Both also coach youth club soccer with FC Wichita.
“I consider Coach Lane a mentor on and off the field,” Carranza said. “I learn daily with him, and it is always good to have someone trustworthy by your side. I hope to continue growing and helping him with whatever I can. He has built a successful program, and I feel blessed to be a part of it.”