Seattle, WA, United States (4E Sports) – Xander Bailey, suffering from cystic fibrosis, turned from an avid Seattle Sounders fan into a starter against the Tottenham Hotspur in front of 55,349 fans.
Sounders signed the 18-year-old as a recipient of the Make-A-Wish program.
Bailey trained with players Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin before the game.
The Emerald City Supporters, the team’s largest fan support group, created a small tifo and handed green cards with Bailey’s name and No. 45 to support the youngster, according to ESPN.
Bailey almost scored after receiving a pass from Clint Dempsey.
But former U.S. national team goalkeeper Brad Friedel, blocked the shot and prevented the goal.
After the attempt, Bailey was substituted and his Sounders teammates mobbed him while the fans inside the CenturyLink Field gave him an ovation appreciating his effort.
Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid believes the team gave Bailey an experience the young man will never forget.
“To give him this opportunity is just fantastic. I saw the look in his eyes and you could just tell he was overwhelmed and he was so appreciative,” Scmid added.