This Saturday, May 6, the Portland Timbers will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Atticus match in support of Make-a-Wish Oregon. Here's why
On Saturday, May 6, 2023, the Portland Timbers will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Atticus match and provide the opportunity for fundraising support for the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Oregon, helping children battling critical illnesses living in Oregon and SW Washington.
May 1, 2013 is a day many Portland Timbers fans, former players, and staff will not forgot. On that sunny Wednesday afternoon, 8-year-old Atticus Lane DuPre led his team of friends, The Green Machine, to an extraordinary 10-9 victory over the Portland Timbers at Providence Park (formerly JELD-WEN Field).
Remarkably, this loss remains the only one in the team's history to be celebrated by their home supporters.
The 3,000 passionate Timbers fans who packed the North End hailed DuPre and his team as heroes, and emotions ran high. It was all thanks to Make-A-Wish Oregon, who granted DuPre, then undergoing cancer treatment, his ultimate dream: to play a game with his friends against his favorite team, the Portland Timbers.
"I chose something that lots of people could do," DuPre said in an interview at the time, noting that other children might opt for a trip to Disneyland or a special gift.
The six-on-six match took place across the penalty box in Providence Park's North End. The Timbers side featured Futty Danso, Darlington Nagbe, team captain Jack Jewsbury aka “Captain Jack,” and Atticus’ favorite player, forward Ryan Johnson. Meanwhile, Timbers coach Caleb Porter (2013-2017) switched allegiances to lead the Green Machine from the sidelines.
"The Green Machine and Atticus killed the Portland Timbers that day," recalled Timbers former Timbers and Manchester United–defender Mikael Silvestre in 2020, with a smile. "Even the Timbers Army turned on us. That was a difficult time."
DuPre's four-goal performance earned him the Man of the Match title, and Timber Joey awarded him the traditional log slice for his outstanding effort. The game became became a viral sensation.
Atticus, now 18, says he’s learned about himself as a player. Despite his goal-scoring performance and his admiration for Ryan Johnson, he says his playing style has evolved in the direction of his current Timbers hero: Diego Chara.
“I’m not a great finisher,” he says. “But I'm pretty good at facilitating and getting the ball around midfield.”
Atticus remains grateful for the support he received from the team and the fans, and remembers that day vividly.
“I remember it was really loud,” he says. “And I wasn't expecting it to be that loud. But we were in the locker room and we could hear chants the whole time. That's probably the biggest thing [I remember]—just walking out seeing all the fans.”
"It was one of the best days of my life," he adds.
Today, Atticus is a recent graduate of Franklin High School and works at a local golf course, where he picks up range balls and plays golf in his spare time. When asked about his future plans, Atticus is unsure. He talks about his love for sports, particularly golf, and his desire to be involved in sports, whether as a player or something else.
One thing he is sure of: the outcome of the game against Austin FC on May 6.
“3-1 Timbers,” he says without hesitation.
Is he predicting a hat trick? we ask.
“No,” he says. “But someone might get a brace.”