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.
From the first kick of the match it was obvious that both teams were looking to make this a shootout as they pressed the ball and threw men forward into the attack. Atticus was the clear focus of both teams as the Green Machine sought to get the ball to him and the Timbers attempted to shut him down, but the Green Machine forward would not be denied and opened the scoring only moments into the match.
As the match progressed, the Timbers looked to be falling behind with the score at the half 6-4 in favor of the Green Machine. Coach Sean McAuley must have given a stirring speech at the half, however as the Timbers came out on fire. Not even a pair of yellows and subsequent ejection for Timbers' captain Will Johnson could slow down the Timbers comeback. The Green Machine continued pouring in the goals, bagging three more as the half wore on, but the Timbers showed why they have earned a reputation early on this season as a team that refuses to quit.
They say that big players step up in big moments, so it was only fitting today that his teammate should find Atticus breaking in on goal as the final moments of the game slipped away. With the ball at his feet and one man between him and victory, Atticus stepped up and gave the match a perfect finish.
- Holy cow, you guys. That was fantastic.
- It was clear who the crowd was rooting for when, as the lineups were announced, the Timbers were greeted by a rousing rendition of "Go home, you bums".
- The team and Timbers Army went all out for this one. Flags, tifo, coordinated Atticus/Green Machine chants, a color guard for the singing of the national anthem, slabs of wood being cut, and three thousand cheering fans made this a might impressive match.
- Jake Gleeson put in some time as a field player today, even chipping in a goal for the Timbers. However, after a poor pass, the crowd's chants of "dodgy keeper" almost rendered him unable to play because he was laughing so hard.
- After the match, Will Johnson and Atticus, as the two teams' captains, switched jerseys.
- It was clear how much being involved in today meant to everyone involved as everyone just seemed like they couldn't stop smiling.
Post Game Reactions
Never been so proud to be part of this organization!! Such a amazing moment for Atticus! To all that made it out you guys are pure class!!— Jacob gleeson (@Jgleeson20) May 1, 2013
The Best Thing I've Done On My Life!! Fulfilling Atticus Dreams :) :) instagram.com/p/YyHo0NxsZO/— SEBASTIAN RINCON (@SRincon14) May 1, 2013
Brent Richards (@BRichards16) May 1, 2013
Ryan Kawulok (@RKawulok) May 1, 2013
What a special day for Atticus,great to see his big smile at Jeld-Wen today— Bright Dike (@bbright19) May 1, 2013
Atticus with the hat-trick. One of 3 players to do that in Jeld-Wen #GMTID— Andrew Jean-Baptiste (@ajeanbaptiste92) May 1, 2013
Michael Harrington (@mikeymomoney2) May 1, 2013
Well today is one of the most amazing experiences I have had.Anyone who doubts the power of sport should have been with us this morning.— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) May 1, 2013
Honored to be a part of such a special day for Atticus. Pure class by our fans and the Timbers organization - day I will never forget! #GMFC— Jack Jewsbury (@JewsburyJ) May 1, 2013
Can't possibly put that experience into words, Atticus is a special kid and a fighter! Thank you so so so much to all who participated.— Will Johnson (@WillJohnson04) May 1, 2013