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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. San Jose Earthquakes: Player Grades and Man of the Match



Orlando City won 5-0 in a dominant performance at home against the San Jose Earthquakes Tuesday night. Nani got the scoring started from a penalty and then Benji Michel and Daryl Dike both had braces as the Lions have now scored the most goals of any team in the Eastern Conference, with 16.

The Lions are riding high after the win, but how did each player perform? Here are your player grades from the match, as well as who earned the title of Man of the Match.


GK, Brandon Austin, 6.5 — In his second start as a Lion, Austin didn’t have to make a save until first-half stoppage time. Javier Lopez fired a rocket from outside the box, but Austin managed to jump and make a great save to deny him. That was Austin’s only save of the match as San Jose didn’t manage to put any of its other 11 shots on target. With the result, Austin gets his first clean sheet as a Lion. He completed 81.3% of his passes and three of his six long balls and, importantly, didn’t spill the wet ball when handling San Jose’s crosses.

D, Joao Moutinho, 6 — Moutinho only played the first half and had 24 touches as Orlando’s wingers handled most of the work on the sides of the pitch. He made 17 passes at a 76% success rate and had a tackle and an interception. On short rest after playing 90 minutes Saturday, it made sense for Oscar Pareja to take Moutinho off and we may see more of him this Friday in Miami.

D, Robin Jansson, 7 — There was a bit of a scary moment in the 29th minute when Moutinho’s clearance smacked Jansson right in the head at close range. The medical staff came on to check him out and he went the distance without any issues. Jansson led the team with a whopping five clearances, putting an end to many of San Jose’s attempts to get back in the match. The Beefy Swede also had a tackle and an interception while tying Andres Perea for the most touches on the team with 59. He did well building out of the back with 50 total passes at a 92% success rate.

D, Antonio Carlos, 7 — It was Carlos’ ninth start this season and the fifth time he’s guided Orlando’s defense to a shutout in 2021. Carlos made three defensive blocks, including one early on that could’ve given Austin trouble and potentially change the momentum of the game. The Brazilian center back also had two tackles, two clearances, and an interception to help stop the Earthquakes right in their tracks. Carlos made a key pass in the 88th minute, sending Benji Michel down the field in transition. It was another solid night for Carlos and he finished third on the team with 55 touches and was successful on 89% of his 46 passes.

D, Kyle Smith, 6.5 — The fullback started on the right and then shifted to the left side for the second half as he continues to impress this season with his versatility. It was a quieter game than usual for Smith as he had just 36 touches, one tackle, and one cross that ended up unsuccessful. But a quiet night for a defender in a shutout win is hardly a bad thing and he completed 93% of his 28 passes. His ability to play on either side allowed Pareja to sub off Moutinho and he’s played every minute this season to help cover Orlando’s lack of depth at fullback.

MF, Junior Urso, 6 — It may have just been due to the rainy conditions at Exploria Stadium, but Urso was sloppy at times in the first half and had some miscues when passing. But in the 44th minute after the weather delay, he made a key pass in on goal that Dike shot just wide. Two of Urso’s three shots were deflected and the third was sent wide after he didn’t make clean contact. He was subbed off for Mauricio Pereyra in the 56th minute and ended the night with 35 touches, 29 passes at an 83% success rate, a tackle, and one successful dribble.

MF, Andres Perea, 6.5 — It was another full shift for Perea while filling in for Sebas Mendez in the midfield. The 20-year-old had two shots, sending one wide and the other right at goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski. He tied Jansson for a team-high in both touches (59) and passes (50), completing the latter at an 84% rate as he connected Orlando’s offense and defense. Defensively, Perea pitched in with two tackles, including a good one late in the match that ended a San Jose opportunity.

MF, Chris Mueller 7 — Although he is still on the hunt for his first goal of the season, Mueller had his fourth assist of the season. He played the ball into a dangerous area in the box for Michel to pounce on. He had just 32 touches and 26 passes at a 77% success rate over the course of 77 minutes of action, but he was still effective on offense and led the team with four key passes. His only attempted cross wasn’t successful and he had a good opportunity after a set piece from the training ground that sent the ball to him in front of goal, but nothing came of it. While he didn’t have a shot in this one as concerns grow over his scoring drought, Mueller is quietly tied with Tesho Akindele for most assists on the team this season, with four, and tied with Mauricio Pereyra for most key passes with 13.

MF, Benji Michel 9 (MotM) — It didn’t take long for Michel to make an impact in the match, using his speed and some silky footwork to breeze past Judson and draw a late tackle from Florian Jungwirth for a penalty in the sixth minute. Nani converted the penalty for an early lead and Michel scored one for himself in the 16th minute. Mueller played a ball in on goal and Michel surged past Paul Marie’s attempt to shield him and poked the ball past Marcinkowski before the goalkeeper could collect it.

In the 90th minute, with victory already assured, Michel was still hungry to score and got his brace after powering the ball into the bottom right corner from close range. Michel led the team with five shots, putting three on target, and was successful on three of his four attempted dribbles. While he was only dispossessed once, Michel did hold the ball too long at times as defenders clogged passing lanes and left him without options. The Homegrown Player also had a key pass, a clearance, 33 touches, and was successful on all but one of his 16 passes (94.4%). While most of the offense thrived in this one, Michel is our Man of the Match for setting the tone early on and directly contributing to three of Orlando’s five goals.

F, Nani, 8.5 — The captain was as cool as can be when scoring from the spot, cleanly tucking the ball into the bottom left corner. While it won’t be in a highlight reel like some of his other goals this season, it was great to see him convert after two post-season penalty misses in the recent past. Nani reveled in the open spaces the Earthquakes allowed, although their defense did well preventing him from cutting back in front of goal and blocked his only attempted cross in open play. Nani’s best moment of the match came on the team’s third goal when he sent a sublime ball through a tight window between defenders for Dike to put it away. In the second half, he got his second assist of the night from a free kick service for Dike’s second goal.

He played 71 minutes and ended the night with three key passes, a shot on target, and three successful dribbles. Nani finished fourth on the team in touches, with 43, and had 33 passes at a 73% success rate in another strong performance since his suspension.

F, Daryl Dike, 9 —  Dike spoke with Pareja and Nani on the sideline while Jansson was receiving treatment and then the two players connected for a goal just a few minutes later. In the 31st minute, Dike made a strong run to reach a perfect pass from Nani and, after a great first touch that got him around Marcinkowski, he scored with his left foot from a tough angle for his first goal of the season. His second goal came in the 49th minute when he got his head on Nani’s cross off of a set piece and powered it home.

Dike honestly could have scored even more goals in this one as he looked lethal no matter how difficult the angle. He was subbed off in the 71st minute and finished with four shots, with only one off target. Dike was successful on eight of his 12 passes and had 24 touches as well in his first start of the season.


D, Michael Halliday (45’), 7 — The Homegrown Player came out of the gate in the second half like a man possessed. He sprinted down the field to earn a corner for the Lions and then won a foul that led to Orlando’s set piece goal. It was definitely his best game as a Lion so far and he led the team in tackles, with three, while adding two clearances as well. On offense, he attempted three crosses but none found their target and he’ll need to work on getting those past the first defender. He ended the game with 23 touches and completed seven of his nine passes. Cade Cowell beat him a few times, but it was a great outing for Halliday as he received important minutes.

MF, Mauricio Pereyra (55’), 7 — Coming off the bench for the first time this season, Pereyra nearly scored in stoppage time with a good look in front of goal, but his shot hit the woodwork. He had two key passes as well, but neither Perea nor Tesho Akindele could put their shots on frame. He managed a secondary assist on Michel’s second goal. Still, Pereyra did well to keep the Lions’ offense roaring until the final whistle. The Uruguayan finished with 31 touches and completed 22 of his 27 passes.

MF, Alexander Alvarado (71’), 6 — Alvarado had a nice cross that found Pereyra and then Akindele, but Alvarado otherwise didn’t make much of an impact in the match. He did deflect a shot from outside the box, but was also dispossessed twice. It was his longest appearance yet as a Lion and he had 17 touches and completed nine of his 10 passes.

F, Tesho Akindele (71’), 7 — Coming on to replace Dike, Akindele did well creating chances up top for the Lions. He got his fourth assist of the year by laying the ball off to Michel for the team’s final goal and nearly had another assist but Pereyra hit the post. Akindele’s only shot of the match was sent just over the bar and he finished with 11 touches and a 78% passing rate on nine total passes.

MF, Uri Rosell (77’), 6.5 — Rosell completed 12 of his 13 passes in his season debut, including a pair of long balls to help spark Orlando’s offense. He also had an interception and 15 touches as Pareja eases him back into action. It was nice seeing him back out there on the field to anchor Orlando’s central midfield.

That’s how I saw everyone’s performance, but what did you see in Orlando’s biggest win so far this season? Let us know in the comments below and make sure to vote for your Man of the Match as well.

Polling Closed

Benji Michel72
Daryl Dike37
Robin Jansson0
Antonio Carlos0
Kyle Smith5
Other (please tell us who in the comments section below)2

Lion Links

Lion Links: 9/27/23

Orlando City falls in power rankings, OCB will take on Columbus Crew 2 in MLS NEXT Pro playoffs, U.S. Open Cup final preview, and more.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you down in Florida. There’s not much new with me, I’m just staying busy at work lately and hoping to catch some soccer this weekend. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Drops Two Spots in Power Rankings

The latest MLS power rankings have been released and Orlando City fell two spots to fourth. The Lions lost their midweek matchup 2-0 on the road against New York City FC last Wednesday and closed out the weekend with a 1-1 draw against rival Inter Miami at Exploria Stadium. It wasn’t all bad this past week for the Lions, as Duncan McGuire scored his 11th goal of the year across all competitions. Despite losing to NYCFC a week ago, the Lions remain in second place in the Eastern Conference and are two points ahead of the Columbus Crew, Philadelphia Union, Atlanta United, and the New England Revolution.

OCB Will Take On Columbus Crew 2 in MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs

Orlando City B’s opponent for the first round of the MLS NEXT Pro playoffs was announced on Tuesday, as it will go on the road to take on defending champion Columbus Crew 2 on Oct. 1 at Historic Crew Stadium. As part of the new playoff format that lets higher seeds choose their opponents, Columbus chose to host OCB in the quarterfinals. The Young Lions closed out their regular season this past weekend with a 2-1 win against FC Cincinnati and finished fifth in the Eastern Conference. The Columbus Crew 2 finished its regular season with a 3-2 win against Atlanta United 2 to place third. The clubs split the regular season series, with OCB winning 4-1 on Aug. 27 and Columbus winning 4-0 on May 14. The conference semifinals will be on the following weekend, and the MLS NEXT Pro Cup final is set for Oct. 22.

U.S. Open Cup Final Preview

The 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will conclude tonight with the final at DRV PNK Stadium as Inter Miami takes on the Houston Dynamo. The match will kick off at 8:30 p.m. and you can watch the match on Paramount+ or CBS Sports Network. Inter Miami’s journey included edging out Nashville SC 2-1 in the Round of 16 and needing to go all the way to penalties to knock out FC Cincinnati after a thrilling 3-3 draw in the semifinals. The Houston Dynamo began their run with a pair of 1-0 wins against the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Sporting Kansas City. Since the Round of 16, the Dynamo cruised past Minnesota United, the Chicago Fire, and Real Salt Lake to get to the final. Houston was on a seven-match unbeaten run before losing to Sporting Kansas City this past weekend. The Dynamo will look to add another U.S. Open Cup title after winning it back in 2018. Lionel Messi will reportedly be a game-time decision for tonight’s final after he didn’t play in Miami’s draw with Orlando.

Spain Wins First Home Match Since World Cup Victory

Spain’s women’s national team won its first match since lifting the World Cup trophy last month, cruising to a 5-0 win against Switzerland in a UEFA Nations League matchup. After dealing with the fallout of former Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales and players boycotting call-ups to the national team before a deal was reached last week, the team wore wristbands that read “Se Acabo,” meaning “this is over,” and players from both teams held a banner with the same phrase before the match. Spain celebrated its win in front of a record-breaking crowd of 14,194 fans that came out to support the team at Nuevo Arcangel Stadium.

Free Kicks

  • Carrie Lawrence and the Orlando Pride were hard at work preparing for the match on Monday against Angel City FC.
  • Angel City exercised its club option to extend former Pride forward Sydney Leroux’s contract through the end of the 2024 NWSL season.
  • The Canadian Women’s National Team defeated Jamaica 4-1 on aggregate to book a spot in next summer’s Olympics.
  • The Seattle Sounders have unveiled their new crest for next year.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.

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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Inter Miami: Player Grades and Man of the Match

How did your favorite Lions perform in Orlando City’s 1-1 home draw against the Herons?



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Draws are never satisfying but there’s at least a much better feeling when your team scores the final goal that earns the point rather than conceding so the other team takes two away. Thus was Orlando City’s 1-1 draw at home against Inter Miami on Sunday. It feels better to score the last goal, despite the fact that the same number of goals are scored either way. It’s a grand illusion.

Duncan McGuire’s blast through the legs of Drake Callender at least kept the Pepto-Bismol-colored team from winning at the purple palace and added another point to Orlando’s fine 2023 total.

Here’s how I saw the individual performances from a feisty affair at Exploria Stadium.


GK, Pedro Gallese, 7.5 — It was another standout game from the Peruvian shot stopper, who made four saves on the night, including a big one to stop a Leonardo Campana attempt from just a couple yards out. Gallese couldn’t do much about the lone goal conceded, as it came off a rebound of a wicked Josef Martinez shot, offering Gallese little opportunity to control the rebound due to the angle and pace. El Pulpo also recorded a clearance and passed at an 81.8% rate, connecting on five of his nine long balls.

D, Rafael Santos, 6.5 — After a couple of somewhat underwhelming performances, the Brazilian had a solid night. He didn’t have a shot attempt, but he managed two key passes despite completing only 71.4% of his passes. He connected on three of his eight long balls and one of his four crosses, but that latter number says more about his teammates not getting onto some good-looking balls into the area. Defensively, he provided two clearances and an interception, committing just one foul and completing a dribble. He even led the team in touches (60).

D, Robin Jansson, 7.5 (MotM) — In the first half, Jansson was the best player on the pitch and, in my opinion, it wasn’t close. The Beefy Swede vaccuumed up almost everything sent forward by Miami that was intended for Campana and Martinez on his side of the field. He finished the night with two tackles and two interceptions but it seemed like more than that. His passing was magnificent, as he completed 89.4% of his 47 passes, including six of seven long balls and his only through ball attempt. He had a key pass as well. He didn’t attempt a shot but he completed one dribble and drew a foul as he stymied the Miami attack. He did his best to cover Martinez’s quick, incisive run to the opposite side but couldn’t block the shot with his sliding effort. His biggest blemish was getting yet another yellow card for dissent — something he’s mostly been able to avoid this season.

D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 5.5 —While I thought Schlegel had a much better night Sunday than he had in the previous two games, it was far from where he was just a week or two earlier. The quick transition gave him a tough choice of backing off Campana and allowing a dangerous shot or doing what he did — stepping out and allowing a through ball. His closeout wasn’t tight enough. His marking on set pieces also left a lot to be desired at times. His passing was mostly accurate (91.5%), and he connected on two of three long balls, but there were a few dicey ones in his own end. He recorded two aerials won, one tackle, two interceptions, and a clearance. He committed three fouls and picked up a yellow card, conceding a dangerous free kick. His lone shot attempt was an off-target header.

D, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, 6.5 — After a couple of tough games, the Icelandic midfielder-turned-fullback acquitted himself pretty well, considering Inter Miami attacked his side quite a bit. He passed well, connecting 82.5% of the time with one key pass and hitting the target once on two crosses, four times on six long balls, and sent a marvelous through ball that should have resulted in an Ivan Angulo goal, but the winger flubbed his lines. His lone shot attempt was a difficult one and did not threaten goal. He did not record a single defensive stat, although much of the time his opponent curled in toward the top of the area and was passed off to another defender.

MF, Cesar Araujo, 5.5 — The young Uruguayan had a quiet night, without recording any defensive statistics in his 45 minutes before being subbed out at the break for Martin Ojeda. He managed only 23 touches and his passing rate of 73.3% was much lower than his usual standard and he completed one of his two long balls. He also drew two fouls and completed a dribble. He simply wasn’t able to impact the game to the extent we’re used to seeing.

MF, Wilder Cartagena, 7 — It was a good night for the Peruvian midfielder, who was constantly getting under the opponents’ skin. He drew yellow card fouls on Dixon Arroyo and Benjamin Cremaschi — the latter after a slick nutmeg move — and had a steal that was set to ignite the break called back for a foul that I don’t agree was committed. Defensively, he recorded a tackle, a clearance, and an interception. He passed at a 91.1% success rate, created one scoring chance, and completed both of his long-ball attempts.

MF, Ivan Angulo, 5 — Whether it’s a lack of confidence and/or composure or being intimidated by a good goalkeeper, the Ivan Angulo who shoots in warmups is not the same guy in front of goal once the game is underway. He completely flubbed his lines when Thorhallsson sent him in behind for a 1-v-1 chance against Callender. The number of times he gets into dangerous spots and either a bad pass, shot, or decision keeps Orlando City from generating a scoring chance from it is maddening. Angulo failed to get any of his three shot attempts on target. His passing rate was just 60%, he did not have a single key pass, and neither of his two crosses were on target, although his single long ball was. He also didn’t record a single defensive statistic. There are many things Angulo does well, and his speed is tantalizing, but the final product is often lacking.

MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6 — The captain had a mostly quiet match except when he was scissored down from behind by David Ruiz, somehow only producing a yellow card for the Miami midfielder. Pereyra produced only one key pass and no shot attempts, starting at central attacking midfielder before dropping into central midfield in the second half to pull the strings from a deeper position. He passed at an 80.5% success rate, completing one of three crosses and two of five long balls. He did not record any defensive stats and committed two fouls while drawing three.

MF, Facundo Torres, 6.5 — Torres led the Lions in shots (4), putting two on target, contributing one key pass and winning an aerial. He passed pretty well overall (81.5%), though he did not complete either of his two crosses or his lone long ball. He contributed an interception and a clearance defensively. Miami concentrated on double-teaming the Designated Player whenever possible. Torres still created some opportunities for himself and others, but it was a fairly quiet night overall.

F, Duncan McGuire, 7.5 — The rookie is still getting back to form after returning from injury, so he managed only 18 touches on the night but he did well with the touches he had. Both of McGuire’s shots were on target and both were rockets. Unfortunately, both were right at goalkeeper Callender. Fortunately, the second of those went through the keeper’s legs for the equalizing goal — his ninth of the MLS season. He also created a chance with a key pass, completed 83.3% of his pass attempts, and connected on his only long ball. He even contributed a defensive clearance. It was a good night for the rookie striker, although he wasn’t able to get that many touches.


MF, Martin Ojeda (46′), 6.5 — The Argentine Designated Player came on at halftime for Araujo to give the Lions more attacking presence and an extra playmaker on the field. He continues to grow in recent games, as he put his only shot attempt on target, created a chance with a key pass, and completed two dribbles, although he did have four unstable touches and was dispossessed once. He completed 89.5% of his 19 passes and all three long balls, but missed on his only cross attempt. He helped with the ball back with two tackles, and added a clearance.

MF/F, Ramiro Enrique (74′), 5 — Enrique came on for Angulo, which I thought at the time was the exact sub that was needed, but the Argentine didn’t offer much for the second straight game after winning Player of the Matchday. He did not attempt a shot or create a key pass and managed only seven touches on the night, passing at an 83.3% clip. He chipped in a clearance.

D, Michael Halliday (77′), 5 — The Homegrown defender spelled Thorhallsson but didn’t offer much, despite completing all four of his passes on 13 total touches. He had two unstable touches and was dispossessed once, which is not what you want to see from your fullback in the final 15 minutes of the match. Defensively, he blocked a shot, but he also conceded an unnecessary late corner when he pulled up, thinking he’d won a foul that didn’t end up getting called.

MF, Gaston Gonzalez (84′), N/A — As the MLS U22 Initiative attacker works his way back to fitness, he got a late runout, replacing McGuire, which pushed Enrique to the top of the formation. He conceded a free kick, but I honestly thought his challenge was clean and should have led to an Orlando counterattack. He put his only shot on frame, but it was a weak dribbler right at Callender. He did not complete his only pass attempt of the match.

MF, Junior Urso (84′), N/A — The Bear entered for Pereyra and was active, gettin 12 touches in late. His 90% passing rate on 10 attempts was solid, missing only on his only attempted long ball. He didn’t record any defensive stats, but he also didn’t make any mistakes in his brief spell.

That’s how I saw the individual performances by Orlando City on Sunday night at the stadium. Let me know where I got things right or wrong in the comments below and be sure to vote for your Man of the Match in our poll below.

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 9/26/23

Pedro Gallese honored, Orlando Pride and Lions celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Campeones Cup preview, and more.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Happy Tuesday, everyone. I won’t lie to you, I’m dragging a bit to start this week. I’m still recovering from being sick and frankly had to fight the urge to take Monday off. I’m soldiering on though, and there’s plenty of soccer happening this week to help keep me entertained and in good spirits. Let’s have a look at today’s links.

Pedro Gallese Recognized

Pedro Gallese turned in another superb performance during Orlando City’s 1-1 draw with Inter Miami on Sunday, and he’s been rewarded with a place in the most recent edition of the MLS Team of the Matchday. El Pulpo made four saves on the night, including a fantastic stop on a header from close range, and helped the Lions stay in the game until they could find the equalizer. Congratulations to Pedro, and here’s hoping he keeps up the good work!

Orlando Pride and Orlando City Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Orlando Pride defender Celia fielded questions for fans to learn more about both her and Spain. Celia is from Alicante, a port city in southern Spain, and shared her favorite food, music, and activity while in her home country. She also spoke on a common misconception about spices used in Spain being spicy.

Orlando City’s Facundo Torres also shared the meaning behind some of his tattoos, which include the Uruguayan flag and La Paz, the city he grew up in. Orlando City’s match with CF Montreal on Saturday will also be Hispanic Heritage Night at Exploria Stadium.

Campeones Cup Preview

You can be forgiven if you forgot that the Campeones Cup is still a thing, because I know I did. Here’s a little refresher on the annual match. It’s being played tomorrow night at BMO Stadium between LAFC and Tigres, the reigning MLS and Liga MX champions, respectively. The MLS representative has won three out of the four contests, with Tigres beating Toronto FC 3-1 in the first iteration of the competition in 2018. This match will also be a rematch of the 2020 Concacaf Champions League final, which saw Tigres emerge victorious 2-1 at Exploria Stadium.

Americans in Midweek Action

A number of Americans will be taking part in games for their clubs this week. Tim Weah and Weston McKennie’s Juventus will take on Lecce today in Serie A, while Chris Richards and Crystal Palace face Manchester United in the Carabao Cup. Christian Pulisic and Yunus Musah have a league match when AC Milan plays Cagliari tomorrow. PSV Eindhoven has a game against Go Ahead Eagles tomorrow as well, which means Ricardo Pepi, Sergino Dest and Malik Tillman could all be involved. Friday closes out the week with Hoffenheim taking on Borussia Dortmund, which could see John Brooks matched up against Gio Reyna depending on Reyna’s fitness.

Spanish Players Will Testify Against Rubiales

Alexia Putellas, Irene Paredes, and Misa Rodriguez have all been called to testify as witnesses in the case against Luis Rubiales. Jenni Hermoso’s brother and a friend of the player both testified on Monday afternoon, as Rubiales is facing charges of sexual assault and coercion. Rubiales has already testified and maintains he did nothing wrong amid uproar that has led to a number of Spanish players refusing to return to the team until changes are made, and a general overshadowing of Spain’s victory at the Women’s World Cup. Putellas, Paredes, and Rodriguez will testify next Monday.

Free Kicks

That’s all I have for today. Y’all stay safe out there!

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