PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — After missing his team's final soccer game last season because of cancer treatment, 8-year-old Atticus Lane-Dupre made sure his teammates were in on his wish to scrimmage against the Portland Timbers.
On Wednesday, the Timbers and Make-A-Wish Oregon treated Atticus' team, the Green Machine, to a game at Jeld-Wen Field. More than 3,000 fans came out to lend their support.
The Green Machine beat the Timbers, 10-9. Atticus scored the winning goal off a corner kick in the final minute. Portland coach Caleb Porter, leading the Green Machine for the occasion, lifted Atticus in celebration.
"Just how we drew it up," Porter laughed.
Atticus' response afterward was typical of a star-struck 8-year old: "I had lots of fun."
The Timbers Army supporter's group turned out en masse and provided songs and chants, tweaked a bit to honor the Green Machine. Commemorative scarves were made for the event and the Timbers set up a locker room for their young opponents. Hanging in each locker was a green jersey with the boys' names imprinted on the back.
A Make-A-Wish Oregon spokeswoman says it is the first time it has ever granted a game against a professional sports team. It also was the most community involvement the organization has seen.
"Atticus wanted to involve his entire team because they have been so supportive of him throughout his treatment," spokeswoman Tracey Lam said. "That touched our hearts, and the Timbers really stepped up and made it magical for him."
Atticus found out he had cancer when he was kicked in the stomach by a soccer ball during recess. When the pain did not subside after several days, his worried parents took him to the doctor. A cancerous tumor was found on one of his kidneys.
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