PORTLAND, Ore. – In front of more than 3,000 Portland Timbers faithful – converted for a day to support a special wish made possible by the club, the Timbers Army and Make-A-Wish® Oregon – eight-year-old Atticus Lane-Dupre netted four goals, including the game-winner in the waning moments of the match, to power The Green Machine to a 10-9 victory over the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field Wednesday afternoon in Portland, Ore.
The Timbers teamed up with Make-A-Wish® Oregon to grant the wish to Atticus, who learned he had cancer in the fall of 2011 and missed his last soccer game of the season with his teammates on The Green Machine. Guided to victory by Timbers head coach Caleb Porter, The Green Machine faced a formidable Timbers side that included a Starting IV of Jack Jewsbury, Will Johnson, Darlington Nagbe and Mikael Silvestre, and was coached by Timbers assistant coach Sean McAuley. Additionally, Futty Danso, Jake Gleeson, Ryan Kawulok and Sebastián Rincón saw action for the Timbers in the special match.
When Atticus had the chance to make a wish, he chose to scrimmage the Timbers at JELD-WEN Field, home of the Timbers. Prior to Wednesday’s game, Atticus was outfitted with his own locker next to Timbers captain Will Johnson, while he and his family were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the Timbers locker room and workout facilities. Additionally, head coach Caleb Porter introduced Atticus to the team before the Timbers pre-training meeting.
Atticus, his family and friends also will enjoy a unique game-day experience during the Timbers’ home match Thursday, May 2, against the New England Revolution as part of his wish.
Team captains Will Johnson and Atticus exchanged jerseys after the game.
Keeping with tradition, Timber Joey rewarded Atticus with a slice off the victory log for his four-goal performance and victory.
During his post-game media scrum, Atticus indicated Will Johnson was his favorite player but that the most memorable of his goals was one that came at Johnson’s expense. Johnson was eventually shown a red card in the second half.
Supporters in attendance came armed with individual player and team banners for The Green Machine. All players on The Green Machine were presented with their individual banners during the post-match ceremonies, while supporters gave The Green Machine players Timbers Army scarves.
Traditional green smoke filled The Green Machine’s supporters section to celebrate the win, while familiar JELD-WEN Field chants were altered in support of Atticus’ club.
The match also featured a pregame procession, national anthem, and video player introductions.
It was the first loss for the Timbers since March 9.
The Timbers donned their Rose City Red kits, while The Green Machine sported classic green-black-green strips.
Players on The Green Machine were provided shoes by adidas, which also provided passes to its employee store for the first 1,000 Green Machine fans in attendance.
- Papa Murphy’s provided free pizza to the first 100 fans through the gates and for volunteers on site.
The Green Machine vs. Portland Timbers
May 1, 2013 – JELD-WEN Field
Goals by Half 1 2 F
The Green Machine 6 4 10
Portland Timbers 4 5 9
Make-A-Wish Postgame Quotes
Atticus Lane-Dupre, Man of the Match
On why he chose to play the Timbers for his wish, and be able to include his teammates:
“Because usually kids just choose to go to Disneyland with their family or getting something and I chose something that lots of people could do.”
On which of his four goals was his favorite:
“The one where I nutmegged Will Johnson.”
On what it was like to play in front of the Timbers Army and against the Timbers:
Caleb Porter, head coach of The Green Machine
General thoughts about being a part of Atticus’ wish….
“It really puts things in perspective. We’re trying to win games and we have goals here as an organization. There’s nothing more meaningful and valuable than to touch a young kid’s heart and to make his wish come true today. To play a part in that is absolutely incredible. It’s something that brings our community closer, brings our organization closer, and brings our team closer. When we brought Atticus into the video [session] before training today and I introduced him to the team and talked about what he was going to be doing today, it was hard not to get choked up, it was very touching. He’s a good kid, a special kid, and we’re just happy to be a part of it.”
Will Johnson, Portland Timbers captain
On granting the wish from a father’s point of view:
“The only thing that really matters in life, especially when you’re a father, is the health of your children. From a father’s point of view, it was hard but you want to be strong for him to make sure he knows that he’s got a lot of people who are fighting for him, proud of him and want him to succeed. We just wanted to show our strength for him to make sure he knows to keep fighting and good things will happen.”
On trading jerseys with Atticus:
“Trading jerseys is a fun thing in the game. I’ve actually never asked anyone to trade jerseys, so that was probably the first and only time in my career I’ll ask for somebody’s jersey. I’m glad it’s that way because he’s a special kid and I’m quite proud to own his jersey.”
Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Founded in 1980, the organization is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 64 chapters in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and nearly 250 volunteers, the Oregon chapter has granted more than 2,700 wishes throughout Oregon and Clark County, Washington. For more information about Make-A-Wish Oregon, visit orwish.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.