Kirk Urso, a 22-year-old professional soccer player, has died of unknown causes, rocking the world of US soccer.
Kirk Urso played for Carolina Dynamo, Chicago Fire Premier and most recently, Columbus Crew. Urso also represented the United States in the past on the under 17s team. The midfielder had been sidelined with a groin injury for much of 2012, and had been working on rehabilitating the issue so he could return to the field with his team.
However, Kirk Urso never completed his recovery for the injury nor returned to the field. Police were summoned to a Columbus bar late Saturday night, but it is not known specifically why authorities were called.
Urso was transported to a local hospital, where about an hour later, at 1:50 AM, he was pronounced dead. Cause of death for Kirk Urso has not been disclosed, but many in the soccer world are stunned and saddened at the midfielder’s sudden and shockingly early passing.
Kirk Urso’s teammates and coaches are floored by his passing, and many describe a young man with a strong dedication to his sport and a positive attitude. MLSSoccer.com spoke to teammate Ethan Finlay, who says:
“He had a great sense of humor, one that could brighten even the saddest of days… He was a one of a kind and that’s why I’m going to miss him.”
All our thoughts and prayers are with Kirk Urso’s family , friends, and teammates . Heels.
— Mia Hamm (@MiaHamm) August 5, 2012
Brian Maisonneuve is an assistant coach for the US team who worked with Urso for a year and a half, and he recalls:
“He respected the coaches, respected his teammates and respected the game… He was a wonderful kid… He was one of my favorites. He came to training every single day with a smile on his face and showed up on the field wanting to get better and wanting the team to get better.”
UPDATE: A local newspaper has quoted the 911 call placed just before Kirk Urso’s death, and Dispatch.com says:
“It’s a very drunk person who fell down and now is unconscious,” the caller said, noting that officers were with the person.
An autopsy to determine Kirk Urso’s cause of death is scheduled for today.