By james edward
PORTLAND, ORE. — In addressing the media prior to heading to Portland on Friday, Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis didn't try and dance around the sadness of losing the Champions League final.
"I don't think there's any reason to try to lie or play act here, we're very disappointed. ... I'm having a very difficult time moving on," he said, admitting he had not even watched a replay of the game, and maybe never would.
Kreis said the only thing that would help the team get over the disappointment was getting back on the field and playing some good soccer. On Saturday he definitely put a line-up out there capable of achieving that goal.
Even though there was speculation that RSL would start a reserve-heavy line-up like in New England earlier this month, Kreis believed there was too much riding on the match and went with an experience squad bunch.
Of RSL's starting 11, only Chris Schuler, Kyle Beckerman, Jean Alexandre and Collen Warner did not appear in Wednesday's Champions League match against Monterrey. Of the other eight, five started that finale.
Perhaps the only surprise about the starting line-up was that Jean Alexandre was a starter at right midfield.
HAPPY HOMECOMING: Saturday night was a dream come true for RSL second-year midfielder Collen Warner.
A star for the University of Portland from 2006 to 2009, Warner was in the starting lineup for Real Salt Lake on Saturday against the expansion Timbers.
Before the game Warner admitted he was itching for the opportunity to play in front of the wild Portland fans, and coach Jason Kreis granted him his wish.
Warner was able to secure 19 tickets for old friends and coaches, and no doubt many more found their own way into the stadium.
Warner might've got himself too caught up in the moment, because his sloppy defending contributed to Portland's first goal in the 22nd minute.
NO HORST-ACHE: Former RSL defender David Horst was not available for selection for the Timbers on Saturday as he continues to nurse a sprained ankle.
Selected by Portland in the expansion draft last November, Horst has developed sort of a cult following in Timber country because of his intense mustache.
Horst was a first-round draft pick in 2008, but played sparingly during his stint with RSL. He spent most of the 2010 season on loan with the Division-2 Puerto Rico Islanders, leading the team to the league title and a spot in CONCACAF Champions League group play.
So far this year, Horst has appeared in two games, making one start.
PAYING TRIBUTE: Prior to kickoff on Saturday, the Timbers paid tribute to long-time fan Gisele Currier, 55. Known as the "matriarch" of the Timbers Army fan group, Currier passed away suddenly last Sunday.
Fans in the Timbers Army section brought upwards of 1,000 roses to the stadium and placed them on vacated seat in Section 107.
SCATTERED SUPPORT: They were definitely in the minority at JELD-WEN Field, but there were several hundred Real Salt Lake supporters on hand on Saturday.
About 100 fans, including the Salt City United supporters group, were sitting in Section 223. Several dozen more fans could be seen scattered throughout the stadium amongst the sea of Portland green.