Kirk Urso pix

GREENSBORO,NC — Kirk Urso wore the jersey of the UNC Tar Heels, the MLS Columbus Crew and the USL Premier Development League Carolina Dynamo.  He will be honored next month by all three.

The North Carolina men’s soccer team will play an exhibition match against Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew next month at Bryan Park’s Macpherson Stadium.

Money raised at the match Feb. 24 will benefit the Crew Soccer Foundation’s Kirk Urso Memorial Fund.

Tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 on game day. Standard seating and lawn seating are both available, with all tickets serving as general admission.

Urso was a midfielder who played in the summers for the Carolina Dynamo, helped the Tar Heels win an NCAA national championship and played in six games for the Crew after Columbus picked him 10th overall in the 2012 MLS draft.

Urso, who had been sidelined with a groin injury, died in August, 2012, during a night on the town at Park Street Patio, a popular bar in Columbus, Ohio. He was 22.

In September, Franklin County (Ohio) coroner Dr. Jan Gorniak said Urso died of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy — a genetic condition that can cause sudden death.

The Urso Fund, launched late last year by the Columbus Crew, supports heart health research.

“The Kirk Urso Memorial Fund (is) intended to honor Kirk’s legacy by funding research initiatives focused on congenital heart defects and sudden cardiac death in youth,” Mark McCullers, Crew president and general manager, said in a news release. “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.”

Urso, a team captain for UNC’s  2011 championship team, finished with 15 goals and 24 assists in 91 career matches for the Tar Heels.

He played two seasons for the Dynamo in the Premier Development League, scoring four goals in 25 games.

Urso started five of the six games he played for the Crew and had one assist.

“Working with the Columbus Crew to support the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund is an honor,” Tar Heels coach Carlos Somoano said in a statement. “We at the University of North Carolina love Kirk and his family and hope to be involved for many years to come. … Hopefully the teams he loved, through the game he loved, will raise dollars, awareness and intentions for the memorial fund.”

To buy tickets, call 669-0841 or visit (where fund donations will also be accepted).


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