Tag Archive | "Justin Mapp"

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Game #4 Preview: Philadelphia Union vs. New York

Posted on 08 April 2011 by Breton Bonnette

The Turnpike derby looms and Union fans are ravenous for a rivalry win. A little over 100 miles separate the two teams and in less than two years, even if the on the field product hasn’t matched it yet, the supporters have fueled a rivalry that will deepen and intensify as the years progress. The Union are coming off a tough midweek loss that saw potential starters put in 120 minutes of work and now, in regular season play, look to jumpstart their offense before the Red Bulls figure out how to jumpstart theirs.

Philadelphia Union (2-1-0) vs. New York Red Bulls (1-0-2)
Saturday, April 9, 2011, 7:00PM, ESPN2
PPL Park, Chester, PA

Philadelphia Union Probable Starting XI





—————Ruiz—————-Le Toux—————

OUT: MF Gabriel Farfan (R little toe sublux); PROBABLE: DF Danny Califf (L knee meniscus); SUSPENDED: Jack McInerney (through April 10)

New York Red Bulls Probable Starting XI




Richards————–De Rosario————–Lindpere


OUT: DF Chris Albright (knee surgery recovery); GK Greg Sutton (concussion)

Game Notes:

The Red Bulls are coming off a 1-1 tie with Houston in a game where scoring chances were abundant for Thierry Henry and company. After a week of training, new acquisition Dwayne DeRosario could start for a team that has been in clear need of a #10 (according to head coach Hans Backe). He had an immediate impact after his high profile trade from hometown team Toronto FC to the Red Bulls, setting up Dane Richards to open up the scoring in last Saturday’s tie. Houston came roaring back, however, with a beautiful chip from Cam Weaver to lock things at one.

The Union’s reserve squad will play their first game of the season on Sunday. Piotr Nowak and reserve squad coach, Brendan Burke, have come out and said and it’ll be about 10 of the senior squad members along with roughly 7 or 8 academy players. Burke, the head coach of affiliate team Reading United AC, will guide the first ever Union reserve squad in the newly relaunched reserve league (a necessity in our opinion). If you’re interested, the Union reserve will play the Red Bull reserves at 10:00AM at their Practice Fields, Bob Urban Field of Dreams in Houston Park.

Last year, the Union lost twice in a row to the Red Bulls in only a three day span. First was a regular season loss, 2-1, at Red Bull Arena. Several days later it was a blend of starters and reserves in an Open Cup qualifying match-up that ended with the same scoreline. At home in the season finale, however, the Union played well defeating New York and turning the tables on the scoreline thanks to early Fred and Michael Orozco-Fiscal goals. The Union have a chance to pull things even in the all-time series with a win tomorrow.

According to all of your comments regarding Keon Daniel’s follow up performance in Wednesday night’s Open Cup game, it doesn’t look like he’ll find his way into the starting lineup but Justin Mapp, going on three games missed now, is back and according to team officials, ready to go.

Both teams have issues with the attack. A first start for Dwayne DeRosario is highly likely for the Red Bulls and could prove the impetus for a less wasteful Thierry Henry. Let’s not forget he’s also got Juan Agudelo to feed as well. That’s a scary thought for all Union fans. The defense has played well, however, and kept Beckham, Donovan, and company in check at the Home Depot Center (save that damn set piece). The Union will need to play the aggressors and put the Red Bulls on their back foot early and often. That means however that both Danny Mwanga and Sebastien Le Toux need to sort things out. Having a healthy Justin Mapp in there should help dramatically.

It has been on a lot of peoples’ minds – is Le Toux 100% healthy? He puts that issue to rest in this piece on PhiladelphiaUnion.com.

Contrary to 2010, the Union were the LAST team to give up a goal this season. Their shutout streak ended at 213 minutes, the longest in club history.

Philly native Chris Albright, oft-injured unfortunately, is out recovering from knee surgery and will not play for the Red Bulls.

All spots have been filled for 2011’s Sueno MLS. The Union will be first time hosts and the local tryouts will take place April 23-24 at the YSC Sports Complex in Wayne, PA. Other teams hosting tryouts are the Chicago Fire and FC Dallas.

 Guess the scoreline:

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Philadelphia Union v. Columbus Crew: Player Ratings

Posted on 06 August 2010 by stoma

GK Chris Seitz (4.5)- Beaten by a great header off of a free kick the first time and let down by his defense the second.  Two legitimately good saves.  Still, not his strongest outing and, since his save on the Pat Noonan penalty kick in the win against Seattle, has not had a save that rallied and energized the team.  For as much fire as he shows back there, Seitz does not often enough take the team on his back.  That’s the next step in his development.

RB Michael Orozco Fiscal (5)- Was able to push forward more this game with only 1 striker to worry about for Columbus, but Orozco-Fiscal did not really make anything happen in any of his forays to the front.  He did make several promising runs down the wing without the ball, but we never got to see what would have happened had the ball been sent his way, as it never was.  Defensively, nothing great and nothing overly damaging.

CB Cristian Arrieta (5.5)- Along with Califf, he struggled with the one-striker set that Columbus was featuring.  The two center-backs never got their communication down in terms of when to pass off coverage to the other, and this situation was exacerbated when Stefani Miglioranzi was lost late in the 1st half.  Although he was not as culpable as Califf in the two goals, a bit more maturity and assertiveness on the part of Arrieta could have helped to prevent either or both.

CB Danny Califf (4)- Poor showing from the captain, as the second goal falls pretty much all on Califf’s shoulders and he certainly played a part in the first.  Trying to make the savvy play instead of the practical play, he denied Lenhart from going far post and ended up leaving the goal side wide open.  Can’t do that against a scorer of Lenhart’s caliber and expect good results.  As has been the case throughout the season, the fate of the captain and the keeper are inextricably tied; this was an extremely poor effort from both.

LB Jordan Harvey (4.5)–  That’s now two consecutive subpar games for Jordan, officially a cause for concern.  He was so solid early in the season that we did not realize he had a failing: a chronic inability to settle bouncing balls.  Perhaps not a problem for your average defender, but for a fullback who is asked to come forward and participate in the attack as frequently as Harvey?  Yeah, it’s an issue.  If he’s going to continue to be Piotr Nowak’s answer as the attacking fullback, we’re going to have to start seeing some execution to go with his obvious smarts and instincts.

MID Fred (5.5)- The benefit of being a good player on a bad team is that you’ll always get plenty of chances to shine.  The downside of being a good player on an improving team with the potential to be good is that you have to adapt to the talent around you.  Now that the Union have acquired Justin Mapp, who is just as comfortable on the ball for long stretches as Fred, the latter is going to have to learn to make the most of his now-depleted touches and get used to not having the ball run through him every single time down the field.  This is going to have to be partly Piotr Nowak’s job as well, as he can no longer have Mapp & Fred just roam around the top of the midfield as each individual sees fit.  They’re going to have to have defined roles until they learn to play off of each other and to trust one another’s strengths.  Tonight, we saw a deferent Fred, something we had not seen before, a player willing to move the ball quickly and allow Mapp to shoulder the bulk of the ball-handling and distributing role.  From this point forward, the Union will be hoping to see a balance between the two.

MID Eduardo Coudet (5.5)- Another solid if unspectacular game from the new signee.  With Mapp & Fred spending the lion’s share of the time on the ball, Coudet didn’t get as many chances to participate in the attack as he did against New England.  However, him and Miglioranzi really seemed in rhythm in the middle together until Stefani was injured.  After that, it was Coudet struggling to cover for an overmatched Nakazawa for most of the 2nd half, and when Columbus started to sit on their lead a bit, Coudet disappeared.

MID Stefani Miglioranzi (6)- Actually managed to stand out a bit tonight, making a couple of key step-ups to win possession on defense and getting forward decently, even cracking off a shot in the 14th minute to force a corner, his second shot on frame all season.  Unfortunately, a rough tumble in the 41st minute led to enough of an injury to put him off for Kyle Nakazawa.  We learned afterwards that Migs had tweaked his groin, an injury he has aggravated in the past by trying to play through.   We really learned how important Stefani is for this team tonight, as his departure opened the door to miscommunication at the back and 2 goals.  While the team is deep in terms of its midfielders, there is only one defensive stalwart amongst the corps, and that is Miglioranzi.

Man of the Match


Now that is what the Union expected to see when they rescued him off the scrap heap in Chicago.  After a debut in which he still seemed lost in the fog of trying to come to grips with what had happened, we saw the potential and ability that earned the 25-year old 5 caps with the national team from 2005-2007.  On the ball, he is the most technically sound and creative player on the team, with the possible exception of Fred.  What he eventually does with the ball will produce results once he learns and begins to trust his new teammates.  But we got a glimpse into what will hopefully be the long and fruitful future of his role with the Union.

FWD Sebastien Le Toux (6.5)- A solid , scrappy game from Le Toux.  He wasn’t able to use his speed as much as usual and had trouble getting the final touch he needed to spring himself or a teammate for a shot, but he kept plugging away and even showed us his convincing dive in the box to draw the penalty kick in stoppage time of the 1st half.  He then, of course, proceeded to bury the PK in the right corner for his 9th goal of the season.  But, for the rest of the game, he was fractions off, most notably on the redirect of Andrew Jacobson’s cross in the 84th that Crew keeper William Hesmer managed to just turn aside, leaving the ball crawling parallel to the goal line before heading wide and out of bounds.  That moment seemed to represent the night of both Le Toux and the Union: good idea, fairly good execution, but poor results.

FWD Alejandro Moreno (5.5)- Ale definitely has a bigger impact, plays a bigger role, and plays better when Danny Mwanga is not on the field.  Unfortunately, the team does not.   And Moreno didn’t quite do enough to convince anyone that matters (i.e. Piotr Nowak) that this is not the case.  It is almost as if he has a mental block on scoring at this point, but it’s definitely not all in his head.  Every gilt-edged chance Alejandro has seen this season ended like the one we saw in the 20th minute, when he first had a shot on that was deflected, then had the clear chance spoiled when he failed to recover fast enough to strike the ball before it could be cleared.  Maybe there’s a metaphor in there somewhere for the 31-year old losing a step, but by now it has become too depressing to even take it.

MID Kyle Nakazawa (5)- Came on for Stefani Miglioranzi in the 41st minute.   While we thoroughly enjoyed the two beautiful balls he served up off of free kicks, both of which should have been goals (one of which became the Le Toux penalty kick call), we did not take as much pleasure in watching Nakazawa repeatedly getting beat in the air and muscled off of the ball.

MID Andrew Jacobson (5.5)- Came on for Fred in the 77th minute.   Probably should have been the substitute for Miglioranzi, given his more physical nature.  Used his energy to create several chances, most notably the low cross that Le Toux redirected only to have Hesmer turn it away and McInerney fail to catch up to it before it trickled across the end line.  More positive stuff from Jacobson as he makes his case to start in the midfield.

FWD Jack McInerney (N/A)- Came on for Justin Mapp in the 83rd minute.  Did not have a significant impact on the game.

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PPL Park alive but the Union falter against the Crew

Posted on 05 August 2010 by Breton Bonnette

It certainly didn’t feel like a Thursday night at PPL Park. The stadium was close to full (18,001), the River End in full voice, and a game that – on paper – certainly had the making of a high-octane thriller.

The Union, unfortunately, weren’t able to deliver a win, falling victim to the heat and a pair of Steven Lenhart headers. The conditions certainly played a part in the 2-1 loss, dampening a generally fast-paced Union offense and wiping out any last minute heroics. As far as the run of play goes, the Union had their chances but aside from Sebastien Le Toux, little troubled the Eastern Conference leaders.

Justin Mapp earned his first start for the league’s newest team and became acquainted with the  ball early on. It was Most of the battle in the first half was stuck at midfield. A testament to that fact was that it was defensive midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi who logged the first real chance of the match. The Union promptly woke up after that. Le Toux and Alejandro Moreno were particularly lively up front the whole first half, almost combining at first on a one-two that was blocked initially by former Defender of the Year Chad Marshall. The ball popped out and Moreno was the first to get to it but big Andy Iro was there to snuff out his second attempt. Mapp continued his impressive play throughout, distributing well and shifting throughout Nowak’s fluid attack but everything generated all around was missing that final touch home. The defense did well to keep a struggling Schelloto off the ball while balancing an insatiable need to get forward into the attack. With that said, the Crew found an opening after a turnover in the midfield. Emilio Renteria, quiet recently but still more than capable of finding net, faked a quick through ball to Steven Lenhart before firing from 25 yards out. Chris Seitz, proving he wasn’t fazed by last weekend’s fluke of a goal, met the rocket head on and parried it away. As fatigue set on, the organized nature of the game fell by the wayside. After an injury sent Miglioranzi to the bench, with rookie Nakazawa making his first appearance post-injury, the Crew found a goal against the grain. Argentinian legend Guillermo Barros Schelloto lined up a curling 35-yard set piece that found the head of Steven Lenhart for his third of the season. The Union pressed on earning a chance right before the whistle. Budding set-piece specialist Nakazawa drove a hard ball into goalmouth that fell at Fred’s feet. The Brazilian botched the redirect but Le Toux was there to collect, swivel, and find an opening. Notoriously aggressive Frankie Hejduk tracked the Frenchman but once Le Toux feinted and went the other way, all he could do was take his legs out. Ricardo Salazar called for the penalty and Le Toux converted his third penalty kick of the season to send this one into the second half all tied up.

It only took five minutes of the second half for first-half substitute Steven Lenhart to make Columbus coach Robert Warzycha look like a bonafide genius. A clever one-two combination sprung Emilio Renteria down the right flank. The Colombian raced to the edge of the box, paused and dropped a beautiful cross onto the head of Lenhart, inexplicably left free to attack the near post. And just like that, it was back to chasing for the equalizer for the Union. The minute Lenhart came in, he was causing Califf trouble and not once, but twice, the captain failed to manage the target striker. The Crew continued to pressure on several well-executed counter attacks led by Renteria. When the Union offense was raised, it was Le Toux who provided the close calls but very little to worry the Crew’s keeper. With the lead on the road, the Crew turned on the time-wasting with every stoppage of play. The offensive effort wasn’t needed, however, as it was on the Union to find the equalizer. Nowak’s answer to the challenge was seemingly Jack McInerney, who celebrated his 18th birthday with an 8-minute cameo. His first touch was a through ball that found it’s way deep into the Crew defense. A square ball fell back to the feet of McInerney who sent a screened ball towards the far post. What looked destined to trickle into the net was finally intercepted and ushered out of bounds by Hesmer. By injury time, the whole of PPL Park was restless and the Union gassed. The Crew ran out the time, sealing fate on the Union’s second defeat at home.

Though Mapp had a second half worth forgetting – as did the majority of the Union’s offense – it’s clear he should be a fixture in this starting lineup going forward. Other than Le Toux, he was the only one taking chances and eyeing up Hesmer’s net. Suspect marking from Danny Califf, however, and errant tackles from Harvey and Orozco Fiscal on the wings should spell cause for concern. Nowak analyzed post match, “There were two mistakes that we made today that cost us the game. That has been the story of the season so far. It’s like Groundhog Day. We have got to work on this, making the mistakes. We have got to keep the focus. We need to play the game efficient and keep it simple”.

The Union will head to Dallas in only three days time to take on one of the hottest squads in the league right now.

Player ratings, photos, and quotes from Mapp, Seitz, and Miglioranzi – who may have a groin strain – to follow over the next couple days. Despite the loss, we also witnessed a bunch of little Union fans gathering around Roger Torres for autographs.

Philadelphia Union Starting XI





————————–Moreno——————Le Toux—————————-

Columbus Crew Starting XI






Scoring Summary:

CLB — Steven Lenhart 3 (Guillermo Barros Schelotto 7) 43
PHI — Sebastien Le Toux 9 (penalty kick) 48+
CLB — Steven Lenhart 4 (Emilio Renteria 1) 50

Misconduct Summary:

CLB — Brian Carroll (caution; Reckless Foul) 37
PHI — Fred (caution; Reckless Foul) 42


Columbus Crew — William Hesmer, Danny O’Rourke, Chad Marshall, Andy Iro,Emmanuel Ekpo (Leandre Griffit 83), Shaun Francis, Brian Carroll, Frankie Hejduk, Emilio Renteria (Duncan Oughton 73), Jason Garey (Steven Lenhart 27), Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

Philadelphia Union — Chris Seitz, Cristian Arrieta, Danny Califf, Michael OrozcoFiscal, Jordan Harvey, Fred (Andrew Jacobson 77), Eduardo Coudet, Stefani Miglioranzi (Kyle Nakazawa 40), Justin Mapp (Jack McInerney 82), Alejandro Moreno, Sebastien Le Toux.

Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Referee’s Assistants: Paul Scott; Brian Poeschel
4th Official: Abiodun Okulaja
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Cloudy-and-83-degrees
Attendance: 18,001

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Game #15 Preview: New England at Philadelphia

Posted on 30 July 2010 by Breton Bonnette

After a couple weeks of international friendlies and Sebastien Le Toux’s debut as a MLS All-Star, the Union are set to take on a New England squad that seems to have found a recipe for winning again. Marko Perovic and Shalrie Joseph have led the Revolution’s charge in SuperLiga play (3 consecutive 1-0 wins) but the Union will introduce new blood on tomorrow in Justin Mapp and Eduardo Coudet, both of which are ready to make a difference in Philadelphia. As they kick off a stretch of three games in 10 days, the Union have expectations for the second half of the season. It’s now Playoffs or bust…

Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution
Saturday, July 31, 2010, 3:30PM, 6abc
PPL Park, Chester, PA

Philadelphia Union Projected Starters (4-8-2)




Le Toux—————————————————————–Fred


OUT: MF Shea Salinas (L fibula fracture); QUESTIONABLE: MF Roger Torres (R ankle sprain); PROBABLE: FW Alejandro Moreno (R knee contusion); MF Kyle Nakazawa (R knee sprain)

New England Revolution Projected Starters (4-9-2)






PROBABLE: Chris Tierney (rib contusion), QUESTIONABLE: Nico Colaluca (R ankle sprain), Cory Gibbs (L quad strain), Jason Griffiths (L hamstring strain), DOUBTFUL: Zak Boggs (concussion), OUT: Preston Burpo (R leg surgery), Edgaras Jankauskas (L adductor strain), Taylor Twellman (concussion)

Did you know?

The Revolution notoriously does very well in SuperLiga competition. They won in 2008 and breezed through the group stage in 2009. This year, the trend continues with a 3-0 record in the group stage, all three shutouts. Their success, however, never really translates to league play and there is hope that trend will continue. What started that rally, however, should be of concern to the Union. A 2-0 upset of the Los Angeles Galaxy on July 10th means that this team is slowly coming together.

The Union U-17s (nicknamed the Zolitos) went 1-1-1 in group play at the U-17 SUM Cup. After falling to Columbus in PKs on the first day (which grabbed them a point), they lost 1-0 to Seattle before beating FC Dallas 1-0 on a Darius Madison finish.

Shane Evans released his midseason grades for the Philadelphia Union – check them out here. Not surprisingly, Sebastien Le Toux, fresh off his start for the MLS All-Stars vs. Manchester United, is top of the class. Union midfielders, however, led by Stefani Miglioranzi and Fred did not fare as well.

Just as the Union are doing, the Revolution are signing up reinforcements left and right. There’s, however, will not be in uniform until after Saturday’s game. Ilija Stolica, a 31-year old Serbian striker, and young Brazilian Roberto Moreira Linck will join the Revs for the rest of the season. Stolica comes as a highly regarded player by current Serbian attacker Marko Perovic.

Midweek, the Union battled affiliate club Harrisburg to a 1-1 draw. Danny Mwanga struck first for the Union before a Jordan Harvey own goal allowed the Islanders back into it. Tomer Chencinski, goalkeeper for the Islanders, stole the show, keeping the Union from adding to the Mwanga tally. Midfielder J.T. Noone saw time for both sides. Shea Salinas was on the bench for the Harrisburg friendly and presumably is a little less than a week or so from being back from a stress fracture of the fibula.

Union_James won our first successful Caption Contest. We had over 15 entries. Check them out here.

Kerith Gabriel of the Philadelphia Daily News provides with some vital Philadelphia soccer history. Read on.

Keys to the Game

The Revolution might boast two All-Stars in midfield stalwart Shalrie Joseph and right-back Kevin Alston but not even their form compares to the recent play of attacking midfielder Marko Perovic. It took a couple games for Perovic to find his rhythm but in the past four games, he has struck net three. Perovic is not the only one to watch out for as Sainey Nyassi has grown stronger on the wings with each 90 minutes. Nyassi’s speed must be contained which could mean backs Michael Orozco and Jordan Harvey not moving so far forward. Something tells me, though, that Coach Nowak is not going to sacrifice a multi-pronged attack to contain the pace of Sainey Nyassi.

Get Justin Mapp on the field as soon as possible. This is gut instinct here but something tells me this kid (amazing after almost a decade in the league, he can still be called a ‘kid’) is going to fit in well in Philadelphia. As far as Eduardo Coudet goes, we have seen in two exhibitions what he can do. He has vision but could be a real liability on defense. Between Miglioranzi and Coudet – who we expect to start – there needs to be a sort of urgent fluidity to how they play the game. Too relaxed and possession is lost. Too hurried and possession is lost. A happy medium is what Migs and Coudet paired centrally should bring to the Union attack.

It’s not a “key to the game” persay but the Union should find a way to get Chris Seitz his first clean sheet of the season. That means minimizing those 5-10 minute lapses that lead to quick, almost ridiculous, against the run of play goals.

Speaking of minimizing, Shalrie Joseph needs to be marked out of the game and kept from space. Just like Dwayne DeRosario does, when given time and space Joseph can change a game himself. We did the right things vs. DeRosario, can we do the same with a bigger, more physical Shalrie Joseph?

We ask a tough question below…

[polldaddy poll=3547216]

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Nowak makes shock move, Justin Mapp joins from Chicago

Posted on 26 July 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Is it me or does he look like Dax Shepard?

Piotr Nowak added another piece to the puzzle today – completely under the radar I might add – by swooping in and picking up former US international Justin Mapp for allocation money. At only 25 years old, it’s hard to believe Mapp – who will wear #22 – has been in the league since 2002 when he took the field for D.C. United (albeit briefly) as a 17-year old.

The wing midfielder has had a rollercoaster ride of seasons in Chicago, more of the underperforming sort over the past couple years. Regardless, he is only 4 years removed from selection to an MLS Best XI in 2006 and three years removed from his last cap for the USMNT. He also has the taste for silverware in Major League Soccer as the Fire captured two Open Cup titles of which he was a vital part and one Supporters Shield.

Mapp is a winger and should bring a lot of pace and technical ability to the flanks (kind of like Salinas). He can serve a decent ball when asked as well, proven true by his trio of 8 assist seasons in 2005, 2006, and 2008. On the downside, however, the long-time Fire winger has been notoriously injury prone over the years and last season, he was kept out of the starting lineup for most of the season. Many Chicago fans said he looked disinterested and completely lacking confidence in 2009 and early this season. A lot of expectations have traveled with Mapp since his IMG Bradenton Academy days and his early years in the league. With Mike Banner and guys like Patrick Nyarko playing well, Mapp became expendable (which is rapidly becoming Nowak’s favorite type of player).

Piotr Nowak has already revitalized one career by instilling confidence in current left winger Fred. Lets hope a change of scenery will do Justin Mapp just as well.

What do you think of the Mapp acquisition? A good use of allocation money or do you think we could have better spent the money?

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Player Profile: Justin Mapp

Posted on 26 July 2010 by Breton Bonnette

Man of the Match

Position: Midfielder

Number: 22

Born: October 18, 1994

Birthplace: Brandon, Mississippi

Height : 6’1″

Weight: 160

Previous Teams: DC United, Chicago Fire

Salary: $162,000 (2010)

How acquired (Union): Acquired on July 26, 2010 in a trade that sent allocation money to the Chicago Fire.

International Career: 5 caps with the US National Team, 1 Gold Cup Championship


2010 with Philadelphia: 15 games, 1 goal, 4 assists

2003-2010 with Chicago: 174 games, 14 goals, 36 assists, 2006 MLS Best XI pick

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