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Crew Face UNC in Charity Match
Crew Face UNC in Charity Match | Major League Soccer, MLS, Columbus Crew, University of North Carolina, Kirk Urso, Kirk Urso Memorial Match, Kirk Urso Memorial fund

MLS News: Inaugural Kirk Urso Memorial Match Raises Nearly $30,000 for Heart Health Research

Proceeds from Columbus Crew match benefitting the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund to be used for congenital heart defect research grant

The inaugural Kirk Urso Memorial Match pitting Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Columbus Crew against the University of North Carolina (UNC) on February 24, 2013, raised nearly $30,000 for the Crew Soccer Foundation’s Kirk Urso Memorial Fund. The proceeds from the match – generated from ticket sales, donations, merchandise sales, raffle and auction items – bring the Fund a third of the way closer to its 2013 goal of raising $100,000 toward funding a congenital heart defect research grant through the Children’s Heart Foundation.

The Urso Fund was launched in late 2012 to support heart health research and programming in memory of Crew midfielder Kirk Urso who passed away at the age of 22 from a congenital heart defect last August.

The Crew will offer several Kirk Urso items available for purchase at all 2013 Crew home matches, including Urso wristbands, #15 pins and T-shirts with the proceeds benefiting the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund. In addition to those items, any jersey that is personalized with Urso’s name and number will have a portion of the proceeds from the personalization going to the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund.

Urso was originally selected by the Crew in the first round (No.10 overall) in 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 at Chapel Hill, where he made four consecutive NCAA Men’s College Cup Final Four appearances and captained the team to the 2011 NCAA National Championship.

Urso was admired for his unwavering work ethic and steadfast character both on and off the field. The inaugural match featured the Crew against Urso’s college alma mater and was held at the UNC Greensboro Soccer Stadium on Sunday, February 24.

The Crew begin the 2013 MLS regular season on Saturday, March 2 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. against Chivas USA.

About the Crew Soccer Foundation: Founded in 2003 as the charitable arm of Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew, the Crew Soccer Foundation utilizes soccer as a vehicle to serve at-risk youth through education, field development and healthy lifestyles. The Crew Soccer Foundation’s core areas of philanthropic focus are literacy and scholarships; soccer field creation, refurbishment and programming in underserved communities; and, heart disease risk and prevention, concussion awareness and childhood obesity.

About the Columbus Crew: Founded by American sports pioneer Lamar Hunt, the Columbus Crew is Ohio's Major League Soccer club, anchoring a diverse sports and entertainment enterprise. One of the League's Charter Members, it won its first MLS Cup championship in 2008, and has also won the 2002 U.S. Open Cup and MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. The club begins its 18th MLS season on March 2, 2013 – its 15th campaign at first-of-its-kind Crew Stadium.

Related Articles: MLS on SoccerNation

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