The Columbus Crew released plans today to pay tribute to Kirk Urso, the 22-year-old rookie midfielder who tragically passed away on Aug. 5.
Prior to the Crew's 7:30 p.m. match against Toronto FC this Saturday, Aug. 11, a floral wreath featuring Kirk's image will be displayed in front of the Lamar Hunt statue at Founder's Park located on the Crew Stadium plaza. Fans are encouraged to pay respects and leave remembrances, which will then be delivered to the Urso family.
"The entire Columbus Crew family remains deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of Kirk Urso, and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with his family during this extremely difficult time," Hunt Sports Group Chairman Clark Hunt said. "As his coaches, teammates and friends have recalled in the days since his passing, Kirk was a special young man whose passion for soccer was only exceeded by his consistent commitment to giving his very best to the team. Beginning with the tributes this Saturday, we will dedicate the rest of this season to Kirk and continue to honor his memory as an organization by working together with the same passion and commitment he showed throughout his life."
During a pre-game ceremony, a video tribute honoring Urso and his accomplishments will run on the video board, followed by a moment of silence. Additionally, Crew players and coaches will wear a number 15 arm band, which will be replaced by a commemorative uniform patch for the remainder of the season. The Crew Stadium pitch will also feature a number 15 insignia, and the official Match Day program will include a special poster celebrating Urso's career with the team.
"We think these elements are a worthy tribute to a special person and member of the Crew family," said Crew President and General Manager Mark McCullers. "We are continuing to support the Urso family through these tough times, and are working with them to identify other concepts to ensure that Kirk's memory and legacy live on indefinitely."
In the near future, a memorial plaque affixed to one of Crew Stadium's signature boulders will be placed next to a newly planted maple tree and unveiled during a ceremony at Founder's Park.