His display inspired dozens of players with whom he shared the field as well as the 3,000 fans who were in attendance. His story will have the same effect on many more.
Lane-Dupre, 8, is a young soccer player who is battling cancer. On Wednesday, the Portland Timbers, the Timbers Army (Portland’s largest supporters group) and Make-A-Wish Oregon came together to make Lane-Dupre’s dreams come true, according to PortlandTimbers.com.
The young Timbers fan led his youth team, Green Machine, as it took on the Timbers in an exhibition at JELD-WEN Field. The Timbers Army provided the atmosphere, as they filled the stadium with the same famous sights and sounds they bring to Major League Soccer games.
Portland didn’t field a reserve team against their youthful opponents either. Captain Jack Jewsbury lined up with Mikael Silvestre, Will Johnson and Darlington Nagbe like he does each weekend. But it Lane-Dupre wasn’t fazed by the professionals he faced, as he scored four goals — including the game-winner — in Green Machine’s 10-9 victory.
Lane-Dupre, who was diagnosed with cancer last fall, says he chose the unique wish because he wanted to share a special occasion with his friends.
“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,” he said when asked why he chose to play against the Timbers.
The MLS team was moved by the opportunity to participate in Lane-Dupre’s wish.
“It really puts things in perspective,” head coach Caleb Porter said. “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.”
Lane-Dupre, his family and friends will be special guests of the Timbers on Thursday when they take on the New England Revolution.
See highlights of Lane-Dupree’s Make-A-Wish game in the video below.
Photo via Facebook/Portland Timbers