Brian McBride put Chicago up early, but second half goals by Chad Marshall and Eddie Gaven put the Crew through to their first ever MLS Cup Final appearance.

The big match up of Blanco v Barros Schelotto definitely went Columbus' way as Schelotto assisted on both Crew goals and Blanco did not show up on the scoresheet.

Columbus will now tune in to the NY-Real Salt Lake game on Saturday night to see who they will play next weekend in LA with the MLS Cup on the line.

Programming note: Columbus Technical Director and Webster native Brian Bliss is scheduled to be a guest on Kick This! tomorrow.

News & Notes:

- Stampede member Alexandra Lilley has a piece upon Rhinos catching upwith Rhinos captain Scott Vallow.

- The Carolina RailHawks have a new coach in former Cleveland City Stars head coach Martin Rennie. is all over the news as well.

- Beckham appears to be out of the mix for next week's England-Germany friendly.

- There are reports that Blanco will be back with Chicago next year. I hate the guy, but that is good news for MLS.

- There is an AP article up at after Landon Donovan spoke to the media regarding his trial with Bayern Munich.

- Man, I can't believe that Maradona is backtracking........

-'s Jonah Freedman is nominating Brian McBride for SI Sportsman of the Year. I like McBride, but I think that Hope Solo is the better soccer pick.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or Feel free to send any comments or complaints to James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.