An online auction surrounding this weekend’s Kirk Urso Memorial Night features high-value items such as unique experiences and autographed memorabilia with all proceeds going to the Memorial Fund. Kirk Urso Memorial Fund merchandise will be heavily featured throughout the match for fans to purchase, including Urso wristbands and #15 pins with the proceeds benefiting the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund. In addition to those items, any jersey that is personalized with Urso’s name and number will have a portion of the proceeds from the personalization going to the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund.
Urso was originally selected by the Crew in the first round (No. 10 overall) in the 2012 Supplemental Draft, and appeared in six games (five starts) with one assist before being sidelined by injury. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he made four consecutive NCAA Men’s College Cup Final Four appearances and captained the team to the 2011 NCAA National Championship. Urso unexpectedly passed away at the age of 22 from a congenital heart defect on August 5, 2012. He was admired for his unwavering work ethic and steadfast character both on and off the field. In 2013, Crew defender Eric Gehrig was honored with the Kirk Urso Heart Award.
Urso made one career appearance against Toronto FC, a road visit in his third-ever appearance on March 31, 2012. The midfielder went 90 minutes as the Crew defeated the Reds, 1-0, in front of 18,944 fans at BMO Field. The win, at the time, kept the Crew’s perfect run at the Toronto venue and it was the Crew’s first road victory of 2012.
In its first year, the Crew Soccer Foundation’s Kirk Urso Memorial Fund raised $100,000 to develop and support youth heart health research and programming. The funds raised are a core focus of the foundation and a way to honor the late Urso. This accomplishment set a record for funds raised for a single Foundation initiative within in a calendar year and delivered on a pledge made the day the Urso Fund was created two months after his passing in October of 2012.