Major League Soccer arose on Sunday morning to devastating news after the Columbus Crew announced that rookie midfielder Kirk Urso had passed away. He was 22.
The Crew issued a statement saying only that Urso had died, and that the cause of death was still being determined.
A four-year starter for the University of North Carolina, Urso captained the Tar Heels to the 2011 National Championship before being taken in the MLS Supplemental Draft by the Crew back in January.
Urso began the 2012 season as a starter for the Crew, starting the team's first five matches of the season. More recently, Urso was injured and was not with Columbus for its loss to D.C. United on Saturday night.
Urso is the first active MLS player to die during a season, and his passing has sent shockwaves throughout the league. Not only impacting his current teammates, and his many college teammates currently playing in the pros, but also the countless players who he played against and earned the respect of for his determined style of play.
Our condolences go out to the Urso family, the Crew and all the players affected by his passing.