Crew remembers fallen teammate on Kirk Urso Memorial Night
On a night that was named in honor of the late Kirk Urso, with multiple fundraising efforts, commemorative armbands and even a sublimated "KU" insignia on the pitch, Crew defender Eric Gehrig said it best.
"It was Kirk Urso Night, but I think Kirk's with us every game."
That statement proved as true as ever in listening to how the Crew remembered its fallen teammate – not just during the match, but in the week leading up to it.
"It's so great to see this club, MLS and this city continue to rally and remember Kirk and his legacy," Ethan Finlay said earlier in the week. "I think it's fantastic. The Columbus Crew and the organization have set an incredible precedent with Anthony [Precourt] coming in. He's done a great job to continue that. That's a true testament to Kirk, his far-reaching hand and how many people he touched. It's fantastic for everyone."
The tribute continued through the match on Saturday night as the Black & Gold played in honor of Urso.
"I think it's great," said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. "I think it's great that we remember one of our own. He was here a short time but he had a big impact on people. We spoke about it this week. Just playing in a game like this and organizating something like that is special."
The result on the field didn't go the Black & Gold's way, as visiting Toronto FC won by a 3-2 final, something that Gehrig lamented following the contest.
"It's too bad," said Gehrig. "Obviously, it would have been nice to get a win for Kirk on his night ... It was unfortunate. I saw his family. Obviously, we would have liked to get them a win. It means a lot. Kirk wasn't here for very long but he left a big footprint. Every time we take the field, especially the guys that played with him, he's in our hearts and in our memories. Like I said, it was too bad we didn't get one for him tonight, but I think he's with us all the time."
Justin Meram, who scored the Crew's second goal, a tally that tied the match at the time, kissed his armband as part of his celebration as he pointed toward the sky.
"Playing for Kirk is something special," said Meram. "You never forget these moments. Scoring that goal, of course I'm going to kiss my armband with his initials. Everyone that scores, I'm sure for them as well, you score for Kirk. We love their family. It was so good to see his father and his brother here.
"No matter the result, you play for Kirk, and we'll always remember."