Following the untimely passing of 22-year-old rookie midfielder Kirk Urso early sunday morning, thoughts, condolences, and memories of the promising young talent poured in from various outlets from around the country. The following stories help illustrate the impact Urso had on so many lives:
Craig Merz of MLSsoccer.com put together a fitting tribute to the rookie that features quotes from Crew GM Mark McCullers, Ethan Finlay, Eric Gehrig, and nice anecdote from Ben Speas on the National Championship-winning season the two spent together at North Carolina before coming to the Crew.
The Columbus Dispatch's Adam Jardy reflected on Urso's short time in Black & Gold and the promise he showed on the field.
FOXSoccer's Ives Galarcep looked at the impression left on Philadelphia Union head coach John Hackworth, who coached Urso at the U-17 level for the United States.
Urso had many connections with the Philadelphia Union, some of whom shared their condolences on the club's website.
Following Sunday's 1-1 draw against the Portland Timbers, Urso's UNC teammate and FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges traded his jersey for banner created by Timbers' supporters that read "R.I.P. Kirk Urso". Hedges went on to call Urso the "field general" in the Tar Heels' College Cup-winning run last season.
In addition, UNC director of athletics Bubba Cunningham called Urso "a natural leader" in a statement issued on the university's athletics' website.
In Sunday's other match, Urso's close friend Andy Rose scored the fourth goal in Seattle Sounders FC's 4-0 win against the LA Galaxy. A former teammate of Urso's during their time playing with the Chicago Fire's PDL side, Rose looked up to Urso's skill on the field. "He was my measuring stick in a way. I always wanted to be as good as Kirk. Growing up, he was a great leader of our team - head and shoulders above everyone else," Rose said.
Finally, TopDrawerSoccer.com's Robert Ziegler looked back on his time covering Urso as a 14-year-old and the professionalism the midfielder carried with him at such a young age.
Crew President & GM Mark McCullers talks with 97.1 The Fan
Moment of Silence for Kirk Urso at JELD-WEN Field before the Portland/FC Dallas match