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updated: 8/9/2012 3:16 PM

MLS team to honor Lombard soccer star Urso

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  • Visitation and funeral services for Columbus Crew midfielder Kirk Urso, left, will take place this weekend. The 22-year-old soccer star from Lombard died at a restaurant Sunday, and the Columbus Crew will honor him with several tributes before Saturday's MLS game.

      Visitation and funeral services for Columbus Crew midfielder Kirk Urso, left, will take place this weekend. The 22-year-old soccer star from Lombard died at a restaurant Sunday, and the Columbus Crew will honor him with several tributes before Saturday's MLS game.
    Photo courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch / Eamon Qu

 
Daily Herald Report

The Columbus Crew has announced plans to pay tribute this weekend to Kirk Urso, the 22-year-old rookie midfielder from Lombard who died Aug. 5 at a Columbus restaurant.

Here are the details of the ceremonies to honor Urso, as outlined in this release from Major League Soccer:

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Before to the Crew's match against Toronto FC (6:30 p.m. Saturday CST, MLS Live) a floral wreath featuring Urso'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 in a statement. "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 pregame 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 No. 15 armband, which will be replaced by a commemorative uniform patch for the remainder of the season. The Crew Stadium pitch will also feature a No. 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," Crew president and general manager Mark McCullers said in a statement. "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."

Plans also call for a memorial plaque to be 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.

Urso died Sunday morning at a Columbus area hospital after he was found unconscious at a local restaurant. The coroner has ruled his death as "natural causes" and toxicology tests are pending.

Services for Urso

A visitation for Kirk J. Urso, son of Michael and Sandy Urso, is scheduled for 2-9 p.m. Friday at Christ The King Church, 1501 S. Main St., in Lombard, and Saturday from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the church. Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Church Interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery. Per the family's request, please omit flowers. Donations to the wishes of the family or the American Heart Association are appreciated. Arrangments are being handled by Brust Funeral Home www.brustfuneralhome.com.

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