Minicamp Feel-Good Story Alfredo Gachúz Calls Opportunity To Kick For Steelers An ‘Incredible Experience’

Kicker Alfredo Gachúz was one of 33 players trying out for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the weekend. And it’s hard to find a better story than his. Most of the team’s tryout was full of rookies coming from the college game. Others were veterans with NFL experience. Then there was Gachúz, who grew up and has been kicking in Mexico all his life and earned the chance to compete in the team’s three-day minicamp that wrapped up Sunday.

Gachúz was selected by the Steelers after having the best showing in a Mexico tryout several weeks ago. The tryout, held by team scout Mark Gorscak, former Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham, and former New York Giants kicker Raúl Allegre, ended with GM Omar Khan calling Gachuz to personally invite him to Pittsburgh.

After he arrived, Gachúz sat down with’s Alvaro Martin to discuss the opportunity and the chance Pittsburgh gave him in the first place.

“It was an incredible experience in general that the Steelers has done that [camp] in Mexico,” Gachuz told Martin. “It is to be appreciated, because if I remember correctly, it was the only team that has done something similar, specifically for kickers.”

Pittsburgh has had a special and longstanding connection with Mexico as one of the country’s most popular teams. The Steelers held a preseason game in Mexico City in 2000 with over 87,000 fans attending. Most of them were waving Terrible Towels and Pittsburgh has had a concerted outreach to Mexico in the decades since. That includes Spanish-speaking interviews on the team’s channel, including producing subtitled Mike Tomlin weekly press conferences.

The Steelers are soon expected to return to Mexico and will likely be one-half of the NFL’s next game there. Had it not been for stadium renovations, it’s likely the team would’ve been playing there this season.

Gachúz is a feel-good story but he earned the opportunity. It certainly wasn’t given to him. He’s been playing American football throughout his life, including kicking professionally. Most recently, he was selected in the first round of the CFL’s Global Draft by the Toronto Argonauts with the 9th overall pick. That draft had other notable names like Australian punter Adam Korsak, also a Steelers minicamp participant, and OT Isaac Moore, a longtime starter at Temple who just wrapped up his college career. Even Pitt DE Habakkuk Baldonado was drafted, though he’ll try his hand in the NFL first.

Gachúz faced an uphill battle to make it to Steelers’ camp, needing to beat out and replace Clemson UDFA B.T. Potter to actually sign a contract. But it’s one heck of a journey, and even if it doesn’t immediately work out in Pittsburgh, there are other opportunities for him to turn to next.

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