For an 8-year-old soccer player, it doesn’t get much bigger than playing for a Major League Soccer team.
For Atticus Lane-Dupre, it did, in fact, get bigger as he not only played alongside his favorite professional soccer players, he scored four goals off of them.
Atticus has been dealing with a much bigger goal than soccer for the past few months after being diagnosed with cancer last fall. When the Make-A-Wish Foundation came to him ready to grant any wish he could imagine, Atticus dreamed big.
His wish? The chance for his soccer team, The Green Machine, to take on Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers.
“Usually kids just choose to go to Disneyland with their family or getting something,” Atticus said, according to MLSSoccer.com. ”I chose something that lots of people could do.”
On Wednesday night, at the Timbers’ home stadium in Portland, Atticus and his teammates took to the field against the Timbers’ star lineup of pro players Jack Jewsbury, Will Johnson, Darlington Nagbe, Mikael Silvestre, Futty Danso, Jake Gleeson, Ryan Kawulok, and Sebastian Rincon.
The Green Machine got an early assist, in the form of a new coach, the Timbers’ head coach Cole Porter, and held their own, tying the game at 9-9, including three goals by Atticus.
In the game’s final moments, the star of the game, Atticus, delivered the winning goal, his fourth, pushing The Green Machine to a 10-9 victory over their pro idols.
Atticus’s sportsmanship and goal-scoring skills earned him the “Man of the Match” title after the game. He was also given a memory he’ll be able to hold on to forever, the jersey of Timbers’ captain Will Johnson.
“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,” Johnson told MLSSoccer.com. “I’m quite proud to own his jersey.”