PORTLAND — They didn’t play, but as a sendoff before college Anthony Macchione and Collin Partee said Monday’s MLS Homegrown Game would be hard to beat.
“This whole experience was awesome. It was just a great atmosphere from the fans, and the team coming together for a last game,” said Partee, a recent Union High School graduate. “It was a great way to go out with my Timbers youth career.”
Partee and Camas High graduate Macchione were on the roster for the Portland Timbers under-23 team that played the a team of young MLS players to a scoreless draw at Providence Park.
“Just to be in the environment and seeing the professionals play against our team, it was a great experience,” Macchione said, noting that several members of the MLS Homegrown team are starters in the league.
Macchione, a forward, departs Wednesday to begin his career at Akron University. Partee, a goalkeeper, plans to join his team at Utah Valley University by Wednesday. Both were members of the Timbers youth academy under-18 team this season.
With Boston College goalkeeper Justin Luthy making four saves for the under-23s in the scoreless draw, Partee wasn’t called upon. But he said he was prepared if needed and thankful for the opportunity.
“These players are just one step ahead of us, just right out of college or young professionals,” Partee said. “I was just watching what they might have on me that I need to work on, and what I need to strive to be in the next few years.”
The match was part of the MLS All-Star festivities.
The Timbers’ U23 team just wrapped up its PDL season with a 5-4-5 record. The team has produced 16 players who have gone on to MLS clubs.
Homegrown players can be signed to a professional contract to the team that developed him without having to go through the draft process.