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Happy Valentine's Day from the #USWNT

The U.S. Women's National Team shares their favorite Valentine's Day gifts. Happy Valentine's Day 2014!

U.S. Soccer Announces All-Time Women's National Team Best XI

CHICAGO (Dec. 19, 2013) – U.S. Soccer’s All-Time Women’s National Team Best XI was revealed today as the Federation wraps up the celebration of its Centennial anniversary in 2013. The All-Time Men’s National Team Best XI will be revealed on Dec. 20.

The Women’s Best XI features two unanimous ballot selections in defender Joy Biefeld (Fawcett) and forward Mia Hamm. Midfielders Michelle Akers and Kristine Lilly were near unanimous ballot selections as both were one vote shy.

Three active players – defender Christie Rampone (Pearce) and forwards Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach – were voted to the Women’s Best XI, with Morgan the youngest selection at 24 years old.

Calculated by total votes, U.S. Soccer’s All-Time Women’s Best XI is arranged in a 4-3-3 formation and listed below in alphabetical order by position:

      Goalkeeper – Briana Scurry 1994-2008 (31 votes)

      Defender – Brandi Chastain 1988-2004 (31)
      Defender – Joy Biefeld (Fawcett) 1987-2004 (56)
      Defender – Carla Werden (Overbeck) 1988-2000 (49)
      Defender – Christie Rampone (Pearce) 1997-present (46)

      Midfielder – Michelle Akers 1985-2000 (55)
      Midfielder – Julie Foudy 1988-2004 (40)
      Midfielder – Kristine Lilly 1987-2010 (55)

      Forward – Mia Hamm 1987-2004 (56)
      Forward – Alex Morgan 2010-present (15)
      Forward – Abby Wambach 2001-present (52)

In an effort to create a fair and reasonable process to determine the All-Time Best XI, U.S. Soccer appointed a committee of soccer historians and former players, coaches, media members and administrators at the National Team level.

The committee determined the list of eligible players for selection to the Best XI, as well as the criteria to be considered by the list of voters. Voters for the Best XI included 56 former players and administrators, as well as media members. The criteria the voters considered in determining their All-Time Best XI:

      1) Starter or key contributor to overall success on the field, especially in World Cups
      2) Longevity, overall performance and talent on the field with the U.S. Men’s or Women’s National Team
      3) Impact on the legacy of the U.S. Men’s or Women’s National Team program

Members of the voting committee include, in alphabetical order:

Roger Allaway (historian), Christine Brennan (media), Jeff Carlisle (media), Cindy Parlow Cone (former player), Dr. Bob Contiguglia (administrator), John Daly (coach), JP Dellacamera (media), Tony DiCicco (coach), Anson Dorrance (coach), Beau Dure (media), Jill Ellis (coach), Julie Foudy (former player), Carin Gabarra (former player), Jim Gabarra (coach), Leslie Gallimore (coach), Steve Goff (media), Lauren Gregg (coach), Mia Hamm (former player), April Heinrichs (former player/coach), Phil Hersh (media), Ted Howard (administrator), Sandra Hunt (referee), Cobi Jones (former player), Grahame Jones (media), Colin Jose (historian), Jeff Kassouf (media), Paul Kennedy (media), Ann Killion (media), Mark Krikorian (coach), Tracy Leone (coach), Michael Lewis (media), Bob Ley (media), Carli Lloyd (player), Rebecca Lowe (media), Shannon MacMillan (former player), Marcia McDermott (coach), Ridge Mahoney (media), Kevin Payne (administrator), Christie Rampone (player), Tiffany Roberts (former player), Alan Rothenberg (administrator), Steve Sampson (coach), Kari Seitz (referee), Tom Sermanni (coach), Jerry Smith (coach), Hope Solo (player), Hank Steinbrecher (administrator), Rob Stone (media), Jamie Trecker (media), Jerry Trecker (media), Jim Trecker (administrator), Lori Walker (coach), Kelly Whiteside (media), Barry Wilner (media), Mike Woitalla (media) and Mark Ziegler (media).

Listed below are the full voting results for all eligible players. The final vote tally for each player is provided in parentheses.

GOALKEEPERS :
Briana Scurry (31), Hope Solo (24), Mary Harvey (1)

DEFENDERS :
Joy Biefeld Fawcett (56), Carla Werden Overbeck (49), Christie Rampone Pearce (46), Brandi Chastain (31), Kate Markgraf Sobrero (9), Lori Chalupny (5), Ali Krieger (2), Rachel Buehler (1), Linda Hamilton (1), Heather Mitts (1), Cat Reddick Whitehill (1), Stephanie Cox Lopez (0), Lori Henry (0), Amy LePeilbet (0), Kelly O’Hara (0)

MIDFIELDERS :
Michelle Akers (55), Kristine Lilly (55), Julie Foudy (40), Shannon Boxx (13), Carli Lloyd (13), Shannon MacMillan (8), Megan Rapinoe (6), Heather O’Reilly (5), Shannon Higgins (4), Tobin Heath (1), Tiffany Roberts (1), Tisha Venturini (1), Lauren Holiday Cheney (0), Lorrie Fair (0), Angela Hucles (0), Lindsay Tarpley (0), Aly Wagner (0)

FORWARDS :
Mia Hamm (56), Abby Wambach (52), Alex Morgan (15), Carin Gabarra Jennings (13), April Heinrichs (12), Tiffeny Milbrett (10), Cindy Parlow Cone (1), Sydney Leroux (0), Amy Rodriguez (0)

2013 Athlete of the Year Voting Kicks off U.S. Soccer Awards Season

CHICAGO (Nov. 19, 2013) – U.S. Soccer has announced the opening of polls for the 2013 Athlete of the Year awards. Fans can vote for the finalists in five categories – Male, Female, Young Male, Young Female and Disabled Athletes of the Year – on ussoccer.com throughout the week. The winners will be announced Tuesday, Nov. 26.

The opening of the Athlete of the Year ballot kicks off a busy awards season for U.S. Soccer. In December, the Best of U.S. Soccer: #100Years Edition will ask fans to select their favorite moment from the past 100 years in a fun, bracket-style competition. U.S. Soccer will also name an All-Time Best XI for the Men’s and Women’s National Teams as the Centennial year draws to a close.

The U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year awards are the oldest and most prestigious awards of their kind, dating back to 1984 for the men and 1985 for the women, while the Young Male and Young Female awards were added in 1998. This is the second year U.S. Soccer will name a Disabled Athlete of the Year.

Two previous winners are included in the Male Athlete of the Year finalists: goalkeeper Tim Howard (2008) and forward Clint Dempsey (2007, 2011 and 2012). This is Michael Bradley’s fifth nomination for the award and Jozy Altidore’s second. Both are former winners of the Young Male Athlete of the Year Award (Altidore in 2006, Bradley in 2007). This is the first nomination for defender DaMarcus Beasley since 2007, when he was nominated as a midfielder.

The list of Female Athlete of the Year finalists features three previous winners: midfielder Carli Lloyd (2008), forward Abby Wambach (2003, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2011) and last year’s winner Alex Morgan. These past winners are joined by first-time nominees, forwards Christen Press and Sydney Leroux, and NWSL MVP Lauren Holiday, who was also nominated in 2011.

Previous Young Female Athlete of the Year nominees Morgan Brian (2010 and 2011) and Crystal Dunn (2010 and 2012), both of whom debuted for the full WNT this year, are joined by first-time nominees Cari Roccaro, a defender for the U.S. U-20 WNT, U-20 and full WNT forward Lindsey Horan and 15-year-old Mallory Pugh.

Defender Shaquell Moore earns his second straight Young Male Athlete of the Year nomination. Midfielder Wil Trapp and defenders Kellyn Acosta, Shane O’Neill and Erik Palmer-Brown all earn their first nominations for the award. Nominees must be age eligible for any of the Youth National Teams and can only win the award once in his career. Forward Rubio Rubin was the 2012 U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year.

U.S. Soccer will also name a Disabled Athlete of the Year, which honors the achievement of disabled soccer players in the United States. This is the second year for the award, which began in 2012.

Online votes for the Athlete of the Year awards are equivalent to 50 percent of the total votes. As in years past, the other 50 percent will be represented by votes compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives (from National Team coaches to the National Board of Directors).

U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year Finalists
Jozy Altidore, Forward
DaMarcus Beasley, Defender
Michael Bradley, Midfielder
Clint Dempsey, Forward
Tim Howard, Goalkeeper

U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year Finalists
Lauren Holiday, Midfielder
Sydney Leroux, Forward
Carli Lloyd, Midfielder
Alex Morgan, Forward
Christen Press, Forward
Abby Wambach, Forward

U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year Finalists
Kellyn Acosta, Defender
Shaquell Moore, Defender
Shane O’Neill, Defender
Erik Palmer-Brown, Defender
Wil Trapp, Midfielder

U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year Finalists
Morgan Brian, Midfielder
Crystal Dunn, Defender
Lindsey Horan, Forward
Mallory Pugh, Midfielder
Cari Roccaro, Defender

U.S. Soccer Disabled Athlete of the Year Finalists
Lexi Heer, Power Soccer
Meghan Maiwald, Deaf Soccer
Rene Renteria, Paralympic Soccer

Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan Named to Shortlist for FIFA Women's World Player of the Year

CHICAGO (Oct. 25, 2013) – FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, announced today that U.S. Women’s National Team forwards Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan have been named to a 10-woman shortlist for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.

The shortlists for the men’s awards will be announced next week.

Last year, Wambach won the award for the first time and became just the second American to be so honored after Mia Hamm won in 2001 and 2002, the first two years in which it was given out.

Wambach finished third in the voting in 2011, the first time she was in the final three for the award, and also finished third in 2012. She finished fourth in the voting in 2004 and 2006, fifth in 2007, was one of the final 10 in 2009 and was fifth again in 2010.

This is Morgan’s third appearance on the shortlist. Last year, she finished third behind Wambach and Marta of Brazil, and in 2011, she finished eighth in the voting.

The final votes will be cast, as usual, by the captains and head coaches of the women’s national teams, as well as by international media representatives selected by FIFA.

The winners of all of the FIFA women’s and men’s awards will be revealed at the FIFA Ballon d’Or as part of a televised show at the Zurich Kongresshaus on Jan. 13, 2014.

The list of 10 female players was drawn up by experts from FIFA’s Committee for Women’s Football and the FIFA Women’s World Cup, as well as a group of experts from France Football.

In addition, former U.S. Women’s National Team star Cindy Parlow Cone, who led the Portland Thorns to the inaugural NWSL title, was named to the shortlist for FIFA Women’s World Coach of the Year.

In early December, FIFA and France Football will announce the names of the three women and three men, as well as the three coaches for women’s soccer and three coaches for men’s soccer, who have received the most votes (without unveiling the winners).

The following 10 women (in alphabetical order) are contenders for the title of 2013 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year:

Nadine Angerer (Germany)

Nilla Fischer (Sweden)

Lena Goessling (Germany)

Saki Kumagai (Japan)

Marta (Brazil)

Alex Morgan (USA)

Yuki Ogimi (Japan)

Lotta Schelin (Sweden)

Christine Sinclair (Canada)

Abby Wambach (USA)

The following 10 coaches (in alphabetical order, giving first nationality and then team in brackets) are contenders for the 2013 FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football:

Gilles Eyquem (France / France U-19 National Team)

Kenneth Heiner-Møller (Denmark / Denmark National Team)

Ralf Kellermann (Germany / VfL Wolfsburg)

Shelley Kerr (Scotland / Arsenal Ladies FC)

Patrice Lair (France / Olympique Lyonnais)

Silvia Neid (Germany / Germany National Team)

Cindy Parlow Cone (USA / Portland Thorns FC)

Even Pellerud (Norway / Norway National Team)

Anna Signeul (Sweden / Scotland National Team)

Pia Sundhage (Sweden / Sweden National Team)

Pledge to Promote Injury Prevention for Chance to Win a Backyard Soccer Clinic from Alex Morgan and Cobi Jones

CHICAGO (Oct. 21, 2013) – Soccer fans of all ages can win a backyard lesson from current and former U.S. National Soccer Team stars Alex Morgan and National Soccer Hall of Famer Cobi Jones as part of a new contest from DePuy Synthes Mitek Sports Medicine, a leader in orthopedics sports medicine and a part of the DePuy Synthes Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

From Oct. 21 to Dec. 31, fans can visit the Sports Injury Prevention Program Facebook page and click on the "I Pledge" button to post a sports injury prevention pledge on their Facebook or Twitter feeds. Those who take the pledge can also participate in the rewards contest, also accessible from the Facebook page using the "Share & Win" button. The fans who accumulate the most points through pledging and other social interactions listed on the contest page are eligible for the Grand Prize of a personal backyard soccer clinic with either Morgan or Jones. Other prizes include signed jerseys and other memorabilia.

DePuy Synthes has a passion for education and community outreach for sports injury prevention. This program is designed to raise awareness around sports injury prevention and provide actionable information and tools for active players everywhere. DePuy Synthes is the Official Sports Medicine Partner of U.S. Soccer, and Johnson & Johnson is the Official Healthcare Sponsor of the FIFA World Cup.

The contest kicks off on Oct. 21 from 4-6 p.m. ET with Morgan hosting a Reddit AMA. Visit http://www.reddit.com to register and take part in the online question and answer session.

U.S. WNT Players Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Crystal Dunn Up for 2013 ESPY Awards

CHICAGO (July 15, 2013) – Three U.S. Women’s National Team players are up for 2013 ESPY Awards, which will be given out on Wednesday night in Los Angeles during a star-studded event at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE.

Fans can vote for Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Crystal Dunn at http://espn.go.com/espys/2013/. Voting is open until 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 17.

U.S. forward Abby Wambach, who broke Mia Hamm’s all-time international scoring record on June 20 when she found the net four times against the Korea Republic at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., is appropriately up for Best Record-Breaking Performance. Heading into the match needing two goals to tie Hamm’s career mark at 158 and three goals to beat it, Wambach scored four times before halftime and currently sits as the top scorer in the history of international soccer with 160 goals.

Wambach will be in some distinguished company. Also up for the award are New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who set the NFL record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who set the NFL record for receiving yards in a season and the most decorated athlete in Olympic history in swimmer Michael Phelps.

U.S. forward Alex Morgan is up for Best Moment for her stunning 123rd minute game-winning header against Canada in the semifinal of the 2012 Olympics. Morgan scored off a cross from Heather O’Reilly, giving the USA a 4-3 victory in a match in which it had trailed three times and tallying the latest goal ever scored in a FIFA competition. It came just seconds before the final whistle and sent the Americans to the gold medal game, where they defeated Japan 2-1 in front of more than 80,000 fans at London’s Wembley Stadium on two goals from Carli Lloyd.

Morgan was nominated last year for Best Breakthrough Athlete for her performance at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in which she became the first U.S. player to score in the semifinal and final.

Also in Morgan’s category this year are Jack Hoffman, a seven-year-old cancer survivor who ran for a touchdown in the Nebraska football spring game, tennis star Andy Murray, who delighted all of Great Britain by becoming the first British man in 77 years to win Wimbledon and Indianapolis Colts head coach Bruce Pagano, who returned the NFL sideline after undergoing treatment for cancer. Morgan will also be a presenter during the awards ceremony.

Young U.S. defender Crystal Dunn is up for Best Female College Athlete. It’s been quite a year for Dunn, who played a key role in helping the USA win the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan last fall – assisting on the winning goal in the quarterfinal and final -- then helped the University of North Carolina win the NCAA title and won the Hermann Trophy as college soccer’s best player. She made her full Women’s National Team debut in February against Scotland in Nashville, Tenn. and has since earned six total caps with four starts.

Dunn is up against her classmate Kara Cannizzaro, who led UNC to the 2013 NCAA lacrosse title, as well as Baylor basketball legend Brittney Griner and Oklahoma softball pitcher Keilani Ricketts.

2013 ESPY Awards Nominations
Best Record-Breaking Performance – Abby Wambach
Best Moment – Alex Morgan
Best Female College Athlete – Crystal Dunn


One of the USA's fastest players and hardest runners, Morgan has become a consistent scoring threat with her breakout 2012 campaign. She scored 14 goals in a 12-game stretch from January to late May of 2012, including three straight two-goal efforts. She earned her first career hat trick on March 7, 2012, during a 4-0 victory against Sweden in the third-place game of the Algarve Cup. Morgan tallied one of the most important goals in recent U.S. history when she scored the winning goal in stoppage time to give the U.S. a 1-0 victory against Italy on Nov. 20, 2010, in the first leg of the FIFA Women's World Cup Playoff.

She burst onto the international scene at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, helping the USA to the championship and scoring the winning goal in the final against Korea DPR … 2012: Had one of the best scoring years in U.S. history, pounding in 28 goals with 21 assists to lead the team in both categories … Was named the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year for the first time … Her goal total was the third-best in U.S. history behind only Michelle Akers (39 in 1991) and Abby Wambach (31 in 2004) … Her assist total was tied for second-best in U.S. history behind only Mia Hamm (22 in 2004) and tied with Carin Gabarra (21 in 1991) … Finished third in the voting for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year and attended the Gala Awards ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland … Became a starter for the first time in the fifth game of the year, a 4-0 victory against Canada in the championship of the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Vancouver, Canada … She torched Canada with two goals and two assists and would go on to start every game but one the rest of the year … Ended the year with 31 matches played and 27 starts … Started all six games at the 2012 Olympics, her first, playing all but 27 minutes of the tournament … Scored three goals in the Olympics, two against France in the opening match, including the crucial equalizer to make it 2-2, and one of the most dramatic goals in women’s soccer history in the 123rd minute of the semifinal against Canada … The game-winner against Canada at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, was the latest goal ever scored in FIFA history … Her looping header off a cross from Heather O’Reilly came just moments before the final whistle … Also had four assists at the Olympics, which included setting up Abby Wambach goals against North Korea and in the quarterfinal against New Zealand, and the first goal in the Olympic Final to Carli Lloyd … Played in four games at CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying, starting just the final, and had four goals and six assists … Her two goals against Canada in Olympic qualifying started a three-game streak in which she scored two goals in each game, which included a last-gasp winner against New Zealand during a 2-1 victory in front of a sold-out crowd at FC Dallas Stadium … In the third-place match of the Algarve Cup against Sweden in Portugal, she registered her first career hat trick … Had nine multiple-goal games on the year, including her second career hat trick, which came against Ireland in Portland, Ore., as she scored three times in a 21-minute span at the end of the first half … Scored in 18 of her 31 matches … Was named the FOX Soccer Player of the Year for men or women … 2011: Had a breakout performance at the Women’s World Cup, her first at the senior level, when she came off the bench for five of the six games and became, along with Abby Wambach, one of two U.S. players to score in the World Cup semifinal and championship game … Scored the third and game-clinching goal in the 3-1 victory over France in the semifinal and then tallied against Japan in the final to open the scoring … Also had an assist to Wambach in the championship game, becoming the first U.S. player to get a goal and an assist in the World Cup final … Played in 19 total matches, starting just two, but scored six goals with two assists … Scored three goals at the Algarve Cup in Portugal and was given the Top Scorer Award … Named one of 10 players on the short list for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year … 2010: Earned her first career cap on March 31 against Mexico in Salt Lake City, coming on at halftime in a match played on a snow-covered field … Played in eight matches, all off the bench, and scored one of the most important goals in recent U.S. history when she came into the first leg of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Playoff against Italy in Padova on Nov. 20 and scored the winning goal in stoppage time to give the USA a 1-0 victory … Scored her first career goal on Oct. 2 against China in Chester, Pa., tallying the tying goal in the 1-1 draw with seven minutes left … Was the youngest player on the U.S. team at the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament where she played in four games and scored two goals against Guatemala and Costa Rica … 2009: Earned her first call-up to the senior side in December … Youth National Teams: Finished her U-20 career with 10 career caps and five goals … Four of those goals came at the 2008 FIFA Women’s World Cup where she won the Silver Ball as the second-best player in the tournament and Bronze Shoe as the third-leading scorer … Scored against France, twice against Argentina and then in the championship game against Korea DPR in the 42nd minute after a slaloming run … Played in four games at the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament, scoring one goal against Cuba while picking up three assists … First Appearance: March 31, 2010, vs. Mexico … First Goal: Oct. 2, 2010, vs. China.
Allocated to Portland Thorns FC for the 2013 NWSL season … 2012: Played several matches with the Seattle Sounders in the W-League … 2011: Taken first overall in the 2011 WPS Draft by the Western New York Flash and helped the club to the WPS title in its first year … Played 689 minutes in 13 games for the Flash, starting six, and had four goals (tied for second-most of any WNT player) with three assists … Played 106 minutes of the championship game during the penalty kick win against Philadelphia … Club: Captained the 2006 Cal South ’89 State Team to the U-17 national title … Played club for Cypress Elite from ages 14-18 … Played a few matches at the U-20 level for the San Diego Surf.
Full name is Alexandra Patricia Morgan … Nicknames are “Al” or “Ali” … Graduated in December 2010, a full semester early, with a degree in political economy … Appeared in the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in body paint … Walked in the Just Dance 4 runway show during New York Fashion Week in the fall of 2012 and would love to have the experience again … Has a cat named Brooklyn that has six toes on both front feet … Enjoys shopping … Enjoys doing Vinyasa Yoga and recently started doing spin classes, especially enjoys FlyWheel … Supports Barcelona but enjoys watching all good soccer … Enjoys playing and watching tennis, especially the majors … Enjoys snowboarding and wakeboarding … Lettered in track for two years in high school, running the 100-meter, the 200-meter and competing in the high jump … She also played volleyball in high school, in which she lettered twice, and was a right outside hitter but had to stop playing due to soccer commitments … Studied in Madrid in the summer of 2009 and speaks a bit of Spanish … Has a license to drive a motorcycle, but doesn’t … Obsessed with the number 13 … Favorite TV shows are “Modern Family” and “The Amazing Race.”Concluded her college career at California in the fall of 2010 tied as the third all-time scorer in school history with 45 goals and in sole possession of third place in points (107) … Had she not missed numerous games as a senior while playing for the National Team, likely would have finished atop both lists … Played in 67 games in her college career, starting 61, and fired 272 shots … She was a four-time All-Pac-10 selection … As a senior, she played in only 12 games due to National Team commitments but still led the Bears in goals (14) and points (30) and was first in the nation for the majority of the season in goal scoring … She capped off her career by being named on NSCAA First-Team All-American … She was a finalist for the Hermann Trophy as a senior despite only playing in 12 matches … One of four finalists for the Honda Award, given to the best overall candidate in each sport … She led her Bears to the NCAA Tournament in each of her four years, advancing to the second round twice … As a junior in 2009, she led Cal in goals (14), assists (8), points (36), shots (97) and shots on goal (55) and tallied three game-winning goals … As a sophomore in 2008 she led Cal in points (23), goals (9), shots (76) and shots on goal (39) … As a freshman in 2007, she started 15 of the 17 games she played in but missed four games at the beginning of the season due to a sprained ankle … Led Cal in points (18) and goals (8) … Tallied game-winning goals against San Diego State, Saint Mary’s and No. 1 Santa Clara … Posted a hat trick against Saint Mary’s and had two goals at Arizona State … In the spring, she scored a hat trick in Cal’s 3-2 win against North Carolina … High School: Attended Diamond Bar High School where she was an NSCAA All-American and a three-time all-league pick.
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