Carlos Carrasco: Made in Madrid & Forged in Finland

The Wasa Royals in Finland are coming off yet another solid season making it all the way to the Maple League semi-finals before losing a heart breaker to the Helsinki Wolverines 42-41. A large part of their team’s success came from their strong defensive line, anchored by Madrid’s own Carlos Carrasco.

Carrasco is a 23-year-old Spaniard who first started playing football at the age of 10. At the time there were no U17 teams for him to play on, so the young and undersized Carrasco had to toughen up quickly in order to hang with the bigger, faster, and older players sharing the field with him.

At his current size of 6’3 280 pounds, Carrasco no longer has to worry about being the little guy anymore. The versatile lineman quickly fell in love with the gridiron. The big man took a big leap and played his senior year of high school football in the United States, and even considered playing college football.

“I played my last year of high school in Saint Johnsbury Academy in Saint Johnsbury, VT. After that I got a full ride offer in Delaware State (NCAA D1 FCS), but for different reasons I decided to stay in Spain and begin my degree here.”

Carrasco and his brother wanted to learn more and develop as players, so they set their sights on playing in elsewhere Europe. They both ended up signing with the Seinäjoki Crocodiles for the 2018 season. After that Carrasco decided to stay in Finland’s Maple League, this time playing for the Wasa Royals where he played the 2019 and 2020 seasons.  Still, in each of those seasons, he spent the early part of the year playing for the Las Rozas Black Demons in Spain before heading to Finland for their summer seasons.

“I was playing in Finland after playing 10-12 games in Spain, going both ways. It was pretty intense.”

Carrasco has showed his versatility playing both the offensive and defensive line whenever the Royals needed him. This last season he really shined on defense recording 18 tackles, three sacks, and six tackles for a loss in only six games in the pandemic shortened season. Carrasco finished the season as a Maple League All-Star at the defensive tackle position and was even named Finland’s defensive player of the week following his six tackle, one forced fumble, and sack performance against his former team the Seinäjoki Crocodiles in week 3.

“It was a good season I admit, however it can always be better. Personally, 2020 has been the worst year of my life by far, and I guess I used football as a way of seeking a victory among this chaos… Plus, my parents always taught me that the only thing you can fully control is your effort, so I always give my 100%.  As a team there was a lot in Stake and the help and support to my teammates and coaches did the rest. Seppo Eweraye, Martti Kaas and Teemu Salo, along with coach John Booker did a tremendous job on and off the field to make sure we were all ready to go, among the guidance of Stacey Thomas, all I had to do is play at the best of my possibilities and perform my best for the team.”

His future goals are to keep exploring and reaching new heights as a player. Carrasco is hoping to play again in Europe in 2021 and keep building on his great 2020 season. Look for Carrasco this winter as he will be back home in Spain playing for the Las Rozas Black Demons in Spain’s LNFA.

“I had reached an agreement with coach Shuan Fatah before Covid hit for a very promising project in Hildesheim. I don’t know what life awaits but it would certainly be my pleasure to keep up to that agreement if its possible in the future.”

Alex Malchow
Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football stories from across the globe.
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