Greensboro, N.C. — The Carolina Dynamo of the USL Premier Development League announced on Wednesday that the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer will take on the University of North Carolina men’s soccer team in the inaugural Kirk Urso Memorial Match on Sunday, February 24.
Kick-off is slated for 1:00 p.m. at Macpherson Stadium in Brown’s Summit, N.C. Urso, a UNC alum and former Dynamo and Crew player, passed away last August from a congenital heart defect.
The Urso Fund was launched in late 2012 to support heart health research and programming in memory of the Crew midfielder. All proceeds from the match will benefit the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund, which is an arm of the Crew Soccer Foundation.
“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 Crew President and General Manager Mark McCullers in a press release.
“The inaugural Urso Memorial Match provides a valuable opportunity to once again draw attention to these goals and garner support through the sport of soccer. The Crew, University of North Carolina and the Dynamo are humbled to be involved with the match, and we look forward to raising awareness and driving proceeds for the Urso Fund.”
Urso was originally selected by the Crew in the first round (No. 10 overall) of the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft, and appeared in six games (five starts) with one assist last season before being sidelined by injury.
He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina, where he made four consecutive NCAA Men’s College Cup Final Four appearances and captained the team to the 2011 NCAA National Championship. Urso appeared in 25 games scoring four goals with six assists while playing for the Dynamo during the 2008 and 2009 PDL seasons. Urso was admired for his unwavering work ethic and steadfast character both on and off the field.
Next month’s match pits the Crew against Urso’s college alma mater. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on game day (the student price on game day will remain $10) and can be purchased by calling (336) 669-0841 or visiting TheCrew.com/UrsoFund, with donations for the Urso Fund accepted via the same URL.
Additionally, there will be auction items at the match benefitting the Urso Fund, including: 2013 Columbus Crew team-signed items, UNC men’s basketball tickets, a signed ball from U.S. Women’s National Team legend Mia Hamm and more. Dynamo season ticket holders will receive one free ticket to the match.
The Urso Memorial Match caps the Black & Gold’s preseason camp following an 18-day trip to Orlando, Fla. for the Disney Pro Classic. The Crew begin the 2013 MLS regular season on March 2 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. against Chivas USA.