The game is meant to showcase the best young players in Major League Soccer.
For members of the Portland Timbers under-23 team — including two players from Clark County — Monday’s Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game provides an opportunity to compete against some of the game’s young stars.
Camas High graduate Anthony Macchione and Union graduate Collin Partee are on the Timbers roster for the match, which will kick off at 7 p.m. at Providence Park.
Timbers under-23 coach Jim Rilatt said Macchione, a forward, and Partee, a goalkeeper, will be available substitutes for the match. This under-23 roster includes some members who played for the team in the Premier Development League.
Macchione and Partee have been training with the Timbers U-23s since the season ended in June for the Timbers Academy 18-and-younger team. Both said they are excited about the opportunity to perhaps play in the game.
Rilatt said both have earned their spot on the roster during summer training sessions.
Foster Langsdorf from Vancouver also has been training with the U-23s and would have been on the roster for this game according to Rilatt, but Langsdorf is preparing for his freshman season at Stanford. Macchione leaves this week for Akron University and Partee for Utah Valley University.
Macchione scored a team-high 17 goals this season for the Timbers Academy U-18s, who made the national playoffs for the first time in the three-year history of the program.
Macchione said the opportunity to play for the Timbers Academy changed him on the field and off.
“The academy gave me a clear objective,” Macchione said, noting that he always enjoyed soccer but wasn’t very ambitious about going places with the game until he joined the Timbers Academy.
That focus was evident this season. Macchione said his objective during the 2013-14 academy season was to become more of an impact player rather than a role player. His 17 goals were the result of seeking a bigger role, he said.
After starting this season as only a training goalkeeper for the Timbers Academy, Partee became the under-18 team’s starting goalkeeper midway through the season, at which point the team went unbeaten for nine games.
“The academy has been great for me,” Partee said. “It taught me life lessons about working hard and staying committed.”
Monday’s match presents a unique challenge and a great opportunity for the Timbers U-23s, Rilatt said.
“What an chance for a college kid to play against a (Will) Trapp and a (Gyasi) Zardes,” Rilatt said, naming young stars for the Columbus Crew and Los Angeles Galaxy who are on the MLS Homegrown roster.
“We hope that we can make the match competitive, and win enough of the moments to get a result,” Rilatt said.
Representing the Timbers on the Homegrown roster is midfielder Steven Evans, who played at the University of Portland and for three seasons with the Timbers U-23s before signing with the MLS club.