Move over, Jeff Attinella.
The Portland Timbers announced they've signed goalkeeper Derrick Tellez, age 5, to a one-game contract ahead of the team's showdown against Orlando SC this Sunday.
Tellez is training with the team this week, and will join the rest of the players on the field on Sunday before and after Sunday's game. Tellez, whose contract came via Make-A-Wish Oregon, is battling brain cancer.
It's a must-win game for the fickle Timbers, but one thing's certain: a new fan favorite has emerged out of nowhere. Get stuck in, Derrick !
Read the Timbers' full press release below.
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers announced today that the club has signed five-year-old goalkeeper Derrick Tellez to a one-game contract, fulfilling his wish to be a Timbers first-team player through Make-A-Wish® Oregon. Leading into Portland’s home game against Orlando City SC on Sunday, Sept. 24, Tellez will participate in his first training session with the team this Friday.
A resident of North Portland, Derrick, who is currently battling a cancerous brain tumor, will receive an exclusive training-day experience with the Timbers on Friday, arriving at the adidas Timbers Training Center with his family to meet his new coaches, teammates and staff during a tour of the training center.
“We are thrilled to welcome Derrick to the club and help make his wish to sign with the Portland Timbers a reality for him and his family,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers.
Derrick will also be greeted with a customized locker with personalized jerseys for him and his seven-year-old brother, Josue. Both players will join the Timbers goalkeepers and goalkeeper coach Adin Brown for drills during the team’s training session. Prior to the training session, Derrick will be included in the Timbers’ official team photo as a member of the first-team squad.
"Derrick is an extremely talented young goalkeeper, and we’re excited to have him signed for this weekend’s game against Orlando City,” said Caleb Porter, head coach of the Timbers. “We are pleased to have him join our club and look forward to his contributions."
On Sunday, Derrick and his family will enjoy a unique gameday experience at the Timbers home match against Orlando City. After arriving to Providence Park in a limousine, Derrick and Josue will join the team for the pregame ceremonies, sitting on the bench during warmups and walking out onto the field with the players for the national anthem before rejoining their parents to watch the game from the KeyBank Club.
Following the game, Derrick will join head coach Caleb Porter and the team on the field to participate in the log ceremony in front of the Timbers Army, before heading to the locker room for Porter’s postgame team speech.