COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Crew rookie midfielder Kirk Urso passed away on Saturday night, according to information released by the club.
The Crew issued the following statement on Sunday morning: "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."
Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber released the following statement: "We are deeply saddened by the death of Columbus Crew player Kirk Urso. Major League Soccer mourns his death and sends our condolences to his family. MLS will hold a moment of silence for Kirk at today's two league matches."
Urso delievers assist vs. New York
According to The Columbus Dispatch, police officers were dispatched to Park Street Patio in Columbus at 12:50 am Sunday morning. Urso was taken to Grant Hospital and pronounced dead at 1:51 am.
The Crew and D.C. United announced the cancellation of their Reserve League match just a few hours before it was due to kick off on Sunday morning.
The 22-year-old was the 10th overall selection in January's MLS Supplemental Draft and started the Crew's first five matches this season at holding midfielder, taking advantage of an injury to starter Danny O’Rourke.
After falling out of the starting lineup, Urso underwent a sports hernia-type surgery for adductor tendinitis on June 18. He was seen infrequently at practices the past month as he rehabilitated with specialists in Columbus. His last appearance came in a match on April 28, a three-minute stint off the bench.
Urso was the captain of North Carolina's NCAA-championship squad last year which also featured Crew teammate Ben Speas. While in college, he also played for the Chicago Fire’s Premier Developmental League team.
He was a member of the US U-17 program and in the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea scored the winning goal against Belgium to send the Americans into the second round.
The Downers Grove, Ill., resident is survived by his parents Michael and Sandra Urso and one brother.
On Sunday morning, several of his teammates expressed their condolences on Twitter.
Feeling numb by the passing away of a great team mate Kirk Urso last night. 22 and such a great guy, always smiling every single day!!— Chris Birchall (@chrisbirchall7) August 5, 2012
Locker neighbor and my chi-town brotha, RIP Kirk Urso. You were a great kid with a bright future. Hard to understand. Love ya man.— Eric Gehrig (@eGehrig16) August 5, 2012