Kirk Urso passed away a year ago from a congenital heart defect. The rookie midfielder had only played for a brief time in Columbus but he made an outsized impact. He was an opening day starter, playing in six games before suffering an injury that forced him out of the lineup.
While he certainly made his mark on the field, he had a bigger effect off the field. His infectious, positive attitude affected anyone who he came into contact with. Teammates, fans, and coaches have been effusive in remembering the Kirk.
The Columbus Crew created the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund to support youth heart health research in his honor. The team and staff further honored Kirk with a memorial award, The Kirk Urso Heart Award to recognize the player that "embodies Urso's selflessness and tireless work ethic".
Not forgotten, former teammates, fans, and media personalities remembered Urso on the anniversary of his passing.
I rembr exactly where I was the night u left us.its been 1yr today.U will never be forgotten my friend.May God Look over your family #KU15— julius james (@mrjuliusjames) August 4, 2013
Remember it like it was yesterday. A yr ago world lost 1 of its great ones. Miss u kid, keep lookin down on your family & us. Love u. #KU15— Eric Gehrig (@eGehrig16) August 4, 2013
Hard to believe it has been one year. RIP #KU15. Continue to shine your joy and happiness upon us.— William Hesmer (@williamhesmer) August 4, 2013
It's been a year since we lost a kind soul who had a profound impact on many lives. His words live on, "I am strong, I can over come" #KU15.— Ashleigh Ignelzi (@AshleighIgnelzi) August 4, 2013
Don't want to remember but won't ever forget. Hard to believe it's been only a year. Miss him everyday but know he's looking down. #RIPKU15— Dave Lagow (@DaveLagow) August 4, 2013
Steve Sirk chose the occasion to unveil his second book, "Kirk Urso: Forever Massive". Sirk has talked to players, staff, and coaches about the impact he made in such a short time.
My 2nd book, out later this year, will be "Kirk Urso: Forever Massive." 100% of the proceeds will go to the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund. #KU15— Steve Sirk (@stevesirk) August 4, 2013
The most touching tribute was the most personal. Kirk's mother, Sandy sent this message to Kirk yesterday.
Nothing will compare to the joy you brought us. Love you and miss you so darn much! pic.twitter.com/c8GF5sW6bw— Urso (@urso_sa) August 4, 2013
Kirk Urso - Forever Massive