Chicago Sun-Times
Steve Tucker's inside look at various professional and amateur sports

July 2010 Archives

Red Stars add Sophie Reiser

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The Chicago Red Stars announced Tuesday the addition of midfielder Sophie Reiser as a developmental player and the release of midfielder Jackie Santacaterina, fron suburban Geneva.

Reiser was selected by the Red Stars in the fifth round (42nd overall) of the 2010 WPS Draft out of Columbia University. The Seattle, Wash., native played for the Red Stars in the preseason but was dealt a setback with a stress fracture in her shin.

Reiser is a three-time All-Ivy League First Team player who was named Ivy League Player of the Year in 2008. She holds Columbia's assists record with 28, is ranked second in points (83) and third in goals scored (26).
Chicago Red Stars defender Kate Markgraf earned her 200th international cap when the U.S. Women's National Team played Sweden to a 1-1 draw  Tuesday at Creighton's Morrison Stadium in Omaha, Neb.

Markgraf earned the cap in style as she wore the captain's armband, becoming the seventh player to reach 200 career caps for the U.S.

Red Stars midfielder Megan Rapinoe also started for the U.S. and forward Kosovare Asllani got the start for Sweden. The U.S. and Sweden square off again Saturday in Hartford, Conn.

Markgraf, 33, a Notre Dame alumna, missed the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer season and did not play for the national team last year because she gave birth to twins. Markgraf made her return to the U.S. squad in late May for her 199th cap as the Americans defeated Germany, 4-0, in Cleveland.

Masar honored for last week's heroics

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Red Stars forward Ella Masar was named Women's Professional Soccer's Player of the Week for Week 13 after leading Chicago to four points in a 1-1 draw Wednesday with the Atlanta Beat and a 2-0 victory Saturday over Sky Blue FC.

Masar scored the equalizer against Atlanta and the opening goal against Sky Blue FC as Chicago (4-5-5) extended its unbeaten streak to four games to solidify its standing in the WPS playoff chase.

The goals were the third and fourth in WPS for Masar, who was born, raised and educated in Downstate Urbana and played at Illinois n.

Hubbard coach Elton Harris picked for Summit

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Hubbard football coach Elton Harris has been selected to attend the NFL-USA Football Summit next week in Canton. 

The Summit  takes place from July 21-23 and is a way of recognizing 51 high school coaches (one from each state) for their contributions to the sport.  


Former Pittsburgh Steeler great Merril Hoge will address Summit participants on the importance of coaching, while two-time Super Bowl winning Dallas Cowboy Darrin Smith will speak about the importance of education.  Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Haynes; former Green Bay Packer all-pro and Vince Lombardi protégé, Dave Robinson;  and former Chiefs quarterback Todd Blackledge will also address the group.


Coaches will hear from DR. STAN HERRING of the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine Committee about the importance of concussion education and awareness in youth sports and DR. LINN GOLDBERG of Oregon Health & Science University for a steroid and supplement education session. Many more topics covered, including injury prevention in youth sports, heat and hydration issues, character development issues, NCAA eligibility and recruiting, proper equipment fitting, and handling coach-player-parent relationships.  


The NFL and the NFL Players Association fund the Summit.

Red Stars knock off Sky Blue

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From a release by the Red Stars:

Chicago Red Stars forward Ella Masar scored her fourth goal in four games, and the Red Stars garnered their first victory over 2009 champion Sky Blue FC, a 2-0 shutout, on Saturday in Women's Professional Soccer action at Toyota Park.

Entering the match, Sky Blue (5-5-3) had a 5-0-1 all-time record against Chicago, but the Red Stars benefited from Masar's continual offensive surge, as well as an own goal scored by New Jersey's Daphne Koster, en route to the victory. Masar now holds the Red Stars team lead in goals with four.

The Red Stars (4-5-5) also extended their undefeated streak to four games and for the moment are in a fourth-place tie with the Washington Freedom who play FC Gold Pride on Sunday night. Chicago's undefeated streak ties for the longest in team history, dating back to the Red Stars' four-game undefeated run to open the 2009 WPS season.

Masar's game-winner came in the 38th minute off of a Natalie Spilger assist from the left side. Masar's strike found the upper right corner of the net past Sky Blue goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill.

Chicago's lead pushed to 2-0 shortly after halftime in the 47th minute, when Koster's deflection went in her own net. Luckenbill managed to get a portion of her glove on the ball, but could not do enough to bat the ball away from the goal.

Allison Whitworth made her Red Stars debut in goal, becoming only the third Chicago goalkeeper to make a WPS start in net. Caroline Jonsson played in every match last season, and Jillian Loyden played in every match up until Saturday. Loyden currently is with the U.S. Women's National Team along with fellow Red Stars defender Kate Markgraf and midfielder Megan Rapinoe.

Next up for the Red Stars is a 6:30 p.m. match aganst the Atlanta Beat on Wednesday,, in Kennesaw, Ga.  Chicago's next home match is at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 25, against the Boston Breakers at Toyota Park.

Sky's Fowles MVP of WNBA All-Star game

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From USA Basketball

In front of a sold out crowd of 9,518 and an ESPN nationally televised audience, the 2010 USA Basketball Women's National Team struck first and never trailed en route to  a 99-72 victory over a team comprised of WNBA stars. Played Saturday afternoon at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., the WNBA vs. USA Basketball:

The Stars at the Sun Game saw five USA players score in double digits, led by game MVP Sylvia Fowles' (Chicago Sky) 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field.

"Coming into today (I was) not exactly sure what we were gonna see," said USA and University of Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma, who will guide the USA National Team through 2012. "We kind of had an idea going in that some of the older players would play really well. They've been together awhile. They know each other. They feed off each other pretty well.

"I thought the fact that we had 30 assists, 32 assists, something like that, is just an incredible number. To be able to spread the ball around like that, share, make the extra pass, all the things you would want to see a team do. Obviously we got a lot of work to do, but for the first time being with this group, we got a chance to be pretty good."

Fowles hit the first bucket of the game on a feed from former Marshall High School star Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty), who dished out a game-high six assists in all. After the WNBA squad tied up the score, Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) hit a 16-footer, followed by a lay-up and a 3-pointer in just under a minute as the U.S. went up 9-2. The red, white and blue continued to slowly pull away and by the end of the first quarter led 29-9, thanks in part to 10 points from Fowles.

"It's a big role that I have to take on, but at the same time I played under Lisa (Leslie) and Tina (Thompson) for a year to learn a couple of things," said Fowles regarding having to step into the starting role in the post for the USA  National Team. "When you got great teammates like Diana to stay in your ear and get things done on the floor, I don't think you have no choice but to go out and compete to the best of your abilities every night."

With Pondexter and Indiana's Tamika Catchings, 40 percent f the Team USA starting lineup were native Chicagoans. And DePaul's Doug Bruno is a Team USA assistant coach.

USA 17U women lose to Australia in exhibition

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After shooting just 3-of-15 from the field (20.0 percent) in the first quarter, the 2010 USA U17 Women's World Championship Team (1-1) found itself in a deep hole against Australia (2-0) and never was able to recover, losing 64-58 in exhibition play on July 10 in Alagon, Spain.

The USA, which trailed 25-8 after the first 10 minutes, fought back and tied the game twice in the third period but never led in the contest.

Australia extended its lead to its widest margin of the night, 27-8, with the first bucket of the second period, but Elizabeth Williams (Princess Anne H.S./Virginia Beach, Va.) scored on an offensive bucket that ignited a 10-2 run that included 3-pointers from Betnijah Laney (Smyrna H.S./Clayton, Del.) and Kaleena Lewis(Mater Dei H.S./Anaheim, Calif) and cut the deficit to 29-20 at 7:09. The teams traded baskets until Williams was fouled on another offensive board and made one-of-two free throws to ignite a 7-0 spurt to end the first half with the USA down by just two points, 37-35.

Cierra Burdick (Butler H.S./Matthews, N.C.), Ariel Massengale (Bolingbrook) and Breanna Stewart (Cicero North Syracuse H.S./North Syracuse, N.Y.) combined for nine points over the next two minutes to cut the lead to 56-48 on a Burdick made free throw at 5:41, but Australia had an answer for every U.S. score down the stretch, including making 4-of-6 free throws.

With Australia leading 64-55, Massengale hit a 3-pointer with 13.5 seconds remaining.

"I think it was a lesson learned," Massengale said, in a release. "Last year (at the U16 qualifier) we basically had easy games all the time, and we didn't have anything that pushed us or made us work hard. But I think it's a good thing this happened in a practice game and not in the world championships next week."

Women's U17 Basketball crushes Canada

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From USA Basketball

ALAGON, Spain (July 9, 2010) -  The 2010 USA Women's U17 World Championship Team (1-0) put the first points on the board in its exhibition game against Canada (0-1) and never looked back. Racing to a 20-9 first quarter lead, the USA went on to secure a convincing 93-47 win over Canada on July 9 in Alagon, Spain.

Led by 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field by Kaleena Lewis (Mater Dei H.S./Anaheim, Calif), all 12 U.S. players scored, including 12 points, five rebounds and three steals fromBreanna Stewart (Cicero North Syracuse H.S./North Syracuse, N.Y.) and 11 points and four rebounds fromElizabeth Williams (Princess Anne H.S./Virginia Beach, Va.). Additionally, Cierra Burdick (Butler H.S./Matthews, N.C.) collected 14 rebounds to go with her nine points, and Ariel Massengale (Bolingbrook) tallied six steals.

Canada managed to compete with the USA over the first few minutes, and the U.S. lead was just three points, 12-9 with 2:02 remaining in the first quarter. From there, however, it was all red, white and blue as two consecutive 3-pointers from Morgan Tuck (Bolingbrook ) launched an 8-0 U.S. run to close the first quarter up 20-9.

"I have been working on my outside shooting, going back to before tryouts," Tuck said is a release. "I don't really like the post as much, and I wanted to play a wing, so I had to work on those skills.
"I knew I was open, so I shot it, and it just happened to go in. On the second shot I was more confident because I had just hit one, so I was just hoping that one was going in to."
The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer are hosting a Chicago Pro Sports and Social Media Panel starting at 1:30 p.m. July 25, at Toyota Park.

Get the inside scoop about social media programming from Chicago's professional sports teams, featuring the Red Stars, Chicago Cubs (Major League Baseball), Chicago Fire (Major League Soccer), Chicago Rush (Arena Football League) and more.

The $30 package includes the panel event, all-you-can-eat food and drinks courtesy of Levy Restaurants, and premiere seating to the Chicago Red Stars versus Boston Breakers match at 3 p.m.

The following is the media panel itinerary:
1:30 to 2:15 p.m.:
Chicago Pro Sports and Social Media Panel discussion
2:15 to 2:30 p.m.: Question and answer session
2:30 to 3 p.m.: Networking with food and drink buffet
3 p.m.: Chicago Red Stars vs. Boston Breakers WPS match

This event is open to the general public, and registration is required before July 25. Register today at

Red Stars host 2009 champions Sky Blue tonight

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The Chicago Red Stars (3-5-5) host 2009 champion Sky Blue FC (5-4-3)  in Women's Professional Soccer at 6 p.m. tonight at Toyota Park.

Sky Blue posted 1-0 victories over the Red Stars on April 11 in Piscataway, N.J., and  April 25 at Toyota Park.

Sky Blue is 5-0-1 record against the Red Stars during the teams' first two seasons.

"As far as the past stuff, something's got to give at some point, right?" Red Stars coach Omid Namazi said in a release. "We've just got to continue to play the way we've been possessing the ball, and making sure that we create enough chances and give ourselves a chance to stick one in the back of the net and come up with the 'W.'"

McCombs joins NU women's basketball staff

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A release from Northwestern ...

Caroline McCombs has been named women's basketball assistant coach for Northwestern, head coach Joe McKeown announced (Thursday). McCombs, comes to Evanston from Pittsburgh, where she served as an assistant for five seasons.

"We are extremely excited for Caroline to join our staff," McKeown said. "She brings great coaching experience to our program, having been at Valparaiso and most recently at Pittsburgh, where she helped elevate them to the national scene. She will be an invaluable resource recruiting and developing our players to make Northwestern one of the top programs in the nation. We had a very strong field of candidates for this position and we are very fortunate that Caroline decided to join the Wildcat family."

McCombs echoed McKeown's enthusiasm for becoming a Wildcat. "I'm very excited for the opportunity to work with Coach McKeown and his staff at Northwestern," McCombs said. "Coach McKeown is one of the most well-respected coaches in the country and it is truly a chance of a lifetime to work with him. It is also a tremendous honor to coach at an institution like Northwestern where we attract dynamic student-athletes who want to compete at the highest level. It is my belief that under Coach McKeown's leadership, it is only a matter of time before we are competing for not only a Big Ten Championship but for a national title as well."

McCombs is familiar with postseason success, having led Pittsburgh to its NCAA Tournament debut in 2006-07 and back-to-back NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances in the following two seasons. In total, the Panthers reached postseason play in all five seasons McCombs was on staff.
While at Pittsburgh, McCombs spearheaded the Panthers recruiting efforts. She was also responsible for the development of Pitt's perimeter players, including former Panther and three-time All-Big East First Team member and third-team All-America, Shavonte Zellous, as well as All-Freshman team members Jania Sims and Taneisha Harrison. McCombs assisted with scouting opponents and was responsible for scheduling Pitt's nonconference games.
McCombs, a native of Medina, Ohio, began her career at Valparaiso University, coaching there from 1999-2005. Prior to the 2004-05 season, McCombs was promoted to associate head coach and maintained that position until joining the Panthers.

Red Stars earn a tie on Masar's goal

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From the Red Stars ...

Chicago Red Stars forward Ella Masar tallied a goal and the Red Stars earned a 1-1 draw against the Atlanta Beat on Wednesday night in Women's Professional Soccer at Toyota Park.

Masar's goal erased a first-half deficit when she headed the ball into the back of the net in the 42nd minute. It was Masar's third goal in three games, following up a two-goal effort during a 2-1 road victory over the Boston Breakers on June 25.

Next up for the Red Stars is a 6 p.m. home match on Saturday, July 10, against defending WPS champion Sky Blue FC at Toyota Park.

Chicago (3-5-5) has yet to score a direct goal off of a corner kick in the team's history, but the Red Stars capitalized shortly after taking one. Midfielder Karen Carney took the corner kick from the right side in the 42nd minute and found Formiga in the middle of the pitch. Formiga passed the ball to Cristiane on the left side, and Cristiane headed the ball from the left corner of the box toward the far right post. Masar made a run to the far side and finished off the attack with a header to tie the score at 1-1.
A release from the American Junior Golf Association

BRASELTON, Ga. - The field for the Midwest Junior Players Championship, a 54-hole stroke play event to be held July 20-23, at Pine Meadow Golf Club in Mundelein has been set and includes  two Rolex Junior All-Americans and 11 players who have signed a National Letter of Intent to continue their golf career at the next level. Players from 13 states, Canada and Thailand will be represented, including 39 from Illinois.   

Patrick Rodgers of Avon, Ind., will headline the Boys Division as the highest ranked player in the field. Currently No. 5 in the Polo Golf Rankings, Rodgers is a 2009 Rolex Junior All-American. Rodgers finished second at the 2010 Rolex Tournament of Champions and has earned 10 additional top-10 finishes in national junior golf competition.

Local player Theodore Lederhausen of Hinsdale, will also be a strong competitor. Lederhausen was a 2008 HP Scholastic All-American and completed the 2009 season with two third-place finishes in addition to a victory at the Deutsche Bank Partners for Charity Junior Shoot Out. He finished third at the 2008 Midwest Junior Players Championship and will play for Harvard in the fall.

Other local players to watch include Patrick Cermak of Chicago, who tied for seventh at the AJGA Junior at Quad Cities in June. Kansas State signee Jack Watson of Lincolnshire, returns after a top-20 finish in 2009, along with Blake Biddle of St. Charles who has signed with UNLV and recently tied for third at the AJGA Junior at Quad Cities.

In the Girls Division, Kaira Martin of Paradise Valley, Ariz., will return to defend her title. Martin was a 2009 honorable mention Rolex Junior All-American and has earned 10 top-10 finishes in national junior golf competition in addition to three AJGA victories.
Elizabeth Doty of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., will be another strong competitor in the field. Doty has eight top-10 finishes in national junior golf competition, including a tie for third at the AJGA Junior at Steelwood presented by AT&T.

Local junior girls competing in the event include Elizabeth Szokol and Isabelle Kane of Winnetka, Stephanie Miller of Wauconda, and Taylor Quinn of Barrington Hills.

The tournament field
Boys Division
Weston Apple     St. Charles, Ill.
Blake Biddle     St. Charles, Ill.
Brock Bolton     Salem, Ill.
Smith Brinker     Cincinnati, Ohio
Scott Cahill     Carpentersville, Ill.
John Callahan     Hinsdale, Ill.
Patrick Cermak     Chicago, Ill.
Justin Cho     Norcross, Ga.
Greg Conrad     Barrington, Ill.
Thomas Dunne     Dublin, Ohio
Ben-Marvin Egel     Kokomo, Ind.
Tyler Gentilella     Parkland, Fla.
Jonathan Gerrard     Highland Park, Ill.
Michael Grayson     Highland Park, Ill.
Nicholas Grubnich     Crown Point , Ind.
Mitchell Homb     Dixon , Ill.
Elliot Horst     Rockford, Ill.
Jared Howard     Dublin, Ohio
Jimmy Jaskoske     Addison , Ill.
Perry Johnson     Lake Forest, Ill.
Sean Jones     Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Tee-k Kelly     Wheaton, Ill.
Han Kim     Lake Mary, Fla.
Corey Konieczki     Rockford, Ill.
Landon Kowalski     Buffalo Grove, Ill.
Bennett Lavin     Deerfield, Ill.
Theodore Lederhausen     Hinsdale, Ill.
Scott Mann     Highland Park, Ill.
Sean Marquardt     Willowbrook, Ill.
Chad Merzbacher     Dublin, Ohio
Thomas O'Bryan     Aurora, Ill.
Steven Petchenik     Glenview, Ill.
Jay Pinkos     Clifton, Va.
Jason Plepel     Wheaton, Ill.
Quinlan Quinn Prchal     Glenview, Ill.
Nick Robles     Crystal Lake, Ill.
Patrick Rodgers     Avon, Ind.
Nickolas Schiavi     Barrington Hills, Ill.
Logan Stauffer     Danvers, Ill.
Jordan Stein     Glencoe, Ill.
Jack Watson     Lincolnshire, Ill.
Kyle Weldon     St. Louis, Mo.
Jordan Wetsch     St. Charles, Ill.
McCoy Willey     St. George, Utah
Tyler Wingo     Fairfax, Va.
Eric Winters     Elgin, Ill.
Kevin Workman     Burr Ridge, Ill.
Dane Worley     Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Girls Division
Kari Bellville     Granger, Ind.
Jacqueline Chulya     Bangkok, Thailand
Jessica Chulya     Bangkok, Thailand
Elizabeth Doty     Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.
Lauren English     Bloomington, Ill.
Isabelle Kane     Winnetka, Ill.
Kaira Martin     Paradise Valley, Ariz.
Kaci McCartan     Plano, Texas
Stephanie Miller     Wauconda, Ill.
April Ohlendorf     Wales, Wis.
Heather Proctor     Silver Spring, Fla.
Taylor Quinn     Barrington Hills, Ill.
Kathy Sterling     Mokena, Ill.
Elizabeth Szokol     Winnetka, Ill.
Vivian Tsui     Markham, OntarioCanada
Mayko Chwen Wang     Hacienda Heights, Calif.
Han Wu     La Mirada, Calif.

The Chicago Red Stars dominated the action but played the  Washington Freedom  to a scoreless draw on Sunday in Women's Professional Soccer at Maryland SoccerPlex.

The Red Stars wrapped up their four-game road trip with a 1-1-2 mark and are now 3-5-4. Washington (4-3-4) stays three points ahead of the Red Stars for the fourth place.

Now the Red Stars return to Toyota Park for three of their next four matches, starting with a 7:30 p.m. match on Wednesday against the Atlanta Beat.

The Red Stars tallied a season-high 23 total shots and 11 shots on goal.

"Plain and simple, we dominated the game," Red Stars coach Omid Namazi said in a release. "But once again we didn't finish our chances in front of the goal. We had four or five very clear chances to score. And on a day like this, with very hot conditions, our performance was very good and our energy level was good."

Five of Cristiane's six shots were on goal. Ella Masar had an opportunity for a close-range header within the six-yard box. Karen Carney had a couple of scoring chances. And in the closing minutes, Casey Nogueira had a  shot pushed wide.

Goalkeeper Jillian Loyden made three saves for her fourth shutout of the season, tying the Red Stars season record set by Caroline Jonsson during the inaugural 2009 WPS campaign.

Slaughter falls in second round of IFL playoffs

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The Chicago Slaughter were knocked out in the second round of the Indoor Football League playoffs, losing to the Sioux Falls Storm 47-33 in United Conference finals Saturday night.

The Storm will host Wichita next week, with the winner reaching the Indoor Football League finals.

The Storm (13-3) led from the start - thanks to a James Jones 52-yard touchdown off the opening kickoff. The Slaughter (7-9) stayed close until an onside kick failed to go 10 yards late in the game with Chicago trailing 39-33.

After losing three straight games to close the regular season, the arena Chicago Slaughter stunned Central North Division champion Green Bay in the first round of the playoffs and are in South Dakota tonight to face Sioux Falls

The Slaughter has strong ties to the 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl champions. They are owned by former quarterback Jim McMahon, coached by former defensive tackle Steve McMichael, and their starting tailback is Jarrett Payton, son of the late Walter Payton.

From a release from the Red Stars ...

The Chicago Red Stars (3-5-3) wrap up their four-game road trip against the team that started off their road swing, the Washington Freedom (4-3-3). The two teams square off in Women's Professional Soccer play at 4 p.m. CT Sunday at Maryland SoccerPlex, in Boyds, Md.

Washington hosted Chicago on June 12, and the Red Stars overcame a 2-0 deficit to pull off a 2-2 draw that started the road trip. Chicago forward Cristiane led the way with back-to-back goals.

The Red Stars are 1-1-1 on their current road trip, and over their past five matches have posted a 2-1-2 mark. Chicago is coming off a 2-1 victory over the Boston Breakers on June 25.

The Red Stars are three points behind fourth-place Washington for the final playoff slot.

"Every game is a big game for us here on out," Red Stars coach Omid Namazi said in the release. "We're going to treat it as if we're playing in 13 final games. We literally have to play in 13 finals and that's how we're going to treat our season."

Red Stars defender Kate Markgraf originally was selected as a reserve for Wednesday's WPS All-Star Game , but a hamstring injury prevented her from participating. Earlier in the week, Markgraf was questionable to play against the Freedom this weekend, but Namazi said her progress has put her in a good position to be a game-time option.

"She's been pretty good," Namazi said. "We've monitored her progress this week and we feel she'll be OK for Sunday."

NCAA's new tournament structure to be unveiled

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After studying various options and gathering feedback, the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee will announce the enhanced tournament structure next week. The decision follows a productive committee meeting that just concluded in Chicago. 


Until that release, members of the committee and staff will not have any comment.

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