Columbus Crew stunned by rookie Kirk Urso’s death

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What terrible news much of Major League Soccer woke up to this morning.

Columbus Crew rookie Kirk Urso has died. He was 22.

According to the Columbus dispatch: “Uniformed police officers were dispatched to Park Street Patio at 533 Park St. at 12:50 a.m. Urso was transported from there to Grant Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:51 a.m. The coroner’s office is handling the investigation.”

The Crew later issued this brief statement:

The Columbus Crew has learned that midfielder Kirk Urso has passed away on Saturday night.

While the circumstances of Urso’s passing are still being determined, no further comments will be made at this time.

The thoughts and prayers of the entire Columbus Crew and Hunt Sports Group are with the Urso family in this time of need.

Urso was a promising talent who started the club’s first five games this year.

He had previsouly been a member of the United States Under 17 program and played with the U.S. side during the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea. His game-winning goal propelled the United States into the second round.

Later, Urso was a captain for North Carolina’s NCAA championship team.

Here’s what Columbus Crew coach Robert Warzycha said about Urso after pre-season training, when the 10th selection in January’s  MLS supplemental draft had so impressed coaches and supporters:  “He’s just works. He works very hard and he has a good shot from distance. He just settled down in the midfield with Mirosevic and Tchani. He’s one of those players that can change the game for you.”