As a sports journalist/blogger, the words I never want to type deal with the passing of a player. Even more so when the player is one of my team.
I awoke this morning, like many others, to hear the tragic news that Columbus Crew midfielder and rookie Kirk Urso had passed away last night. He was 22 years old.
The official statement released by the club early this morning stated that details were very sketchy and the club only knew that he passed away Saturday evening. The Columbus Dispatch is reporting police were dispatched to a home at 12:50 a.m. this morning, then Urso was transported to Grant Hospital before he passed at around 2 a.m.
The first team is currently in Washington D.C. as they took on United and lost 1-0 last night. I can’t even imagine what they are feeling now as they probably heard the news this morning at the same time as the rest of us.
Kirk had played six matches in the black and gold kit, starting five of them this season; his first as he was selected in the first round of the MLS supplemental draft this year from the University of North Carolina. He had a promising future with us and, as a die-hard Crew fan, I was looking forward to see what he could bring to our line up.
“Coming into camp, my goal was to make the team and compete. Obviously, you’re fighting for a spot, (starting in the season opener) was really awesome,” Urso said of his first MLS experience. “I was grateful for the opportunity.”
Urso was not with the team in D.C. as he has been on the sidelines since about May. After he picked up a groin injury and underwent surgery in May, he was set on the injury list to recover.
Kirk was known to have a great sense of humor and a great love for the game. He was a Crew player, so I know he was working hard to get back to playing ability.
I don’t doubt that everyone has a heavy heart over this news. As a Crew fan, I feel gutted, stunned and speechless. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, with our players and with my fellow fans.
Aerys Soccer will keep you updated here and on @AerysSoccer on the situation as more information becomes available.