Atticus Lane-Dupre: Hat-Trick Hero

Eight-year-old Atticus Lane-Dupre discovered that he had a cancerous tumor on one of his kidneys after a soccer ball hit him in the belly and the pain did not go away. His kidney was removed. He plays soccer, and he missed the last game of the 2012 season with his team, the Green Machine, because of cancer treatment. The Make-a-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children who have or have had life-threatening illnesses, and it granted Atticus’ wish: He wanted his team to play a game against the Major League Soccer team the Portland Timbers of Oregon. On 1 May 2013, the game took place at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland — over 3,000 fans watched the game — and Atticus scored the final goal on a corner kick to lead his Green Machine team to a 10-9 victory over the Timbers. This broke the Timbers’ six-game winning streak. For this game, Portland coach Caleb Porter coached the Green Machine. He said, “Just how we drew it up.” Atticus said, “I had lots of fun.” Make-a-Wish Oregon spokeswoman Tracey Lam said, “Atticus wanted to involve his entire team because they have been so supportive of him throughout his treatment. That touched our hearts, and the Timbers really stepped up and made it magical for him.” Atticus’ mother, Jennifer Lane, said, “I think he was kind of sick of all the attention for having cancer, so he picked something his whole team could do.” Portland Timber player Jack Jewsbury said after the game, “When a team like the Green Machine comes in, it puts pressure on you. It’s really tough.” After the game, Portland Timber player Will Johnson exchanged jerseys with Atticus. Will said, “It’s the first and only time in my career I’ll ask for somebody’s jersey.” William Conwell wrote an excellent article about the game for the Stumptown Footy, a publication devoted to the Portland Timbers, and he wrote the article straight. The lead paragraph: “Despite being pressed all game by the Timbers, Major League Soccer’s hottest team, the Green Machine were able to lean on their captain, the hat-trick hero, Atticus. In the final seconds of regulation, and with the score tied at 9-9, Atticus received the ball at midfield and drove toward the Timbers’ last man, Sebastian Rincon. Seeing his opening, Atticus slipped the ball through Rincon’s legs and into the back of the net, sending the crowd of 3000 Green Machine diehards into hysterics as the final whistle blew with the score standing at 10-9 in favor of the Green Machine.”

For Further Information: Anne Peterson, “Timbers grant Green Machine a big wish.” The Associated Press. The Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon). 2 May 2013

For Further Information: William Conwell, “Green Machine Triumphant; Atticus with the Hat-trick.” Stumptown Footy. 1 May 2013

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