Crew midfielder Kirk Urso dead at 22
Kirk Urso †
COLUMBUS, Ohio ● Midfielder Kirk Urso of Major League Soccer club Columbus Crew died on Sunday in a central Ohio hospital, a county coroner said.
No cause of death has been determined for the 22-year-old Urso, Franklin County Coroner Dr. Jan Gorniak said. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.
Police were called to a bar in the city at about 12:50 a.m. and Urso was taken from there to the hospital, The Columbus Dispatch newspaper reported. Police did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press seeking details on the circumstances.
Urso played in six games this season and was sidelined by groin surgery in May. He was not with the team Saturday for its 1-0 loss to D.C. United in Washington, team spokesman Marco Rosa said.
The team withheld detailed comment, and the hospital said privacy laws ruled out any comment.
“The thoughts and prayers of the entire Columbus Crew and Hunt Sports Group are with the Urso family in this time of need,” a team statement said.
Columbus team-mate Chad Marshall wrote on Twitter: “The guy could make you laugh with the greatest of ease. A tremendous talent taken way too soon. You are missed Kirk Urso. Rest in peace.”
Crew midfielder Chris Birchall wrote: “Feeling numb by the passing away of a great team mate Kirk Urso last night. 22 and such a great guy, always smiling every single day!!”
Eric Gehrig added: “Locker neighbor and my chi-town brotha, RIP Kirk Urso. You were a great kid with a bright future. Hard to understand. Love ya man.#crew96.”
Aaron Schoenfeld wrote: “Still shocked to have lost such a great friend. Thoughts and prayers are with Kirks family and friends. He will truly be missed by us all.” Dilly Duka wrote: “Hard to believe and hurts me to say this, #RIP Kirk Urso. Love you buddy.. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
Urso signed for Columbus in March this year after being selected in the first round of the MLS Supplemental Draft and made six appearances for the club, although he had been sidelined since April after undergoing surgery for tendonitis.
In a team profile last month of Crew rookies, he said he was frustrated with injuries.
“To go from getting picked up late in the draft, to starting and contributing, and then to be out completely and hurt – it’s really frustrating. Injuries are just a part of (soccer),” he said.
● A Nigerian soccer player has collapsed and died during a second-division league game in Romania after doctors were unable to resuscitate him.
Bogdan Oprita, head of the local ambulance service, told national news agency Agerpres that FC Tulcea player Chinonso Ihelwere Henry collapsed during a game against FC Balotesti Sunday.
The game was played in the town of Baltoesti, north of Bucharest. Oprita said doctors were unable to save him after his heart stopped beating and he stopped breathing.
Oprita said an autopsy would be performed to determine the cause of death.
The 21-year-old Henry had been playing for Tulcea since 2010. He arrived in Romania in 2007.
No further details were immediately available.