Two of the teams that meant so much to the late Kirk Urso, 22-year-old soccer star from Lombard who died unexpectedly last August, will come together next month for a tribute game to raise charitable funds on his behalf.
According to a report at thecrew.com, the rookie's MLS club, The Columbus Crew, will play a preseason exhibition game Feb. 24, against the University of North Carolina, Urso's college team.
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Money from the inaugural Kirk Urso Memorial Match will go toward the Crew Soccer Foundation's Kirk Urso Memorial Fund, which supports heart health research and programming in memory of the Crew midfielder who died last August from a congenital heart defect.
"When we announced the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund it was intended to honor Kirk's legacy by funding research initiatives focused on congenital heart defects and sudden cardiac death in youth," said Mark McCullers, Crew president and general manager. "The inaugural Urso Memorial Match provides a valuable opportunity to once again draw attention to this goal and garner support through the sport of soccer. Both the Crew and University of North Carolina are humbled to be involved with the match, and we look forward to raising awareness and driving proceeds for the Urso Fund."
Urso, a first-round draft pick, captained the team to the 2011 NCAA National Championship.
"We at the University of North Carolina love Kirk and his family and hope to be involved for many years to come," said NC coach Carlos Somoano. "UNC and the Columbus Crew were dear to Kirk and hopefully the teams he loved, through the game he loved, will raise dollars, awareness and intentions for the Memorial Fund."
The match will be played at Macpherson Stadium in Browns Summit, N.C.