Dirty Tackle

Columbus Crew midfielder Kirk Urso dies after night out, autopsy points to ‘natural death’

Ryan Bailey
Dirty Tackle

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Kirk Urso (Getty)

Kirk Urso (Getty)

Columbus Crew midfielder Kirk Urso died in the early hours of Sunday morning, following a night out at a downtown Columbus bar.

In a 911 call released to the local news outlet The Columbus Dispatch, an unidentified female describes "a very drunk person" who fell down and became unconscious. The 22 year old — who did not travel with the Crew for its 1-0 loss at DC United the previous day — was rushed to Grant Medical Center, but was pronounced dead just after 1:50am.

An autopsy has been performed, and although further tests are required, the coroner has suggested a 'natural death' as the cause. ESPN reports:

Franklin County Coroner Jan Gorniak said toxicology tests will not be finalized for four to six weeks.

"It's leaning toward an apparent natural death, but we don't know why," Gorniak said.

She said the autopsy revealed no trauma to Urso's body, along with no blood clots. In addition to toxicology tests, the coroner's office will also take a closer look at what Gorniak referred to as "heart changes."

"What that means is we saw some changes with his heart but we don't know what it is until we examine it underneath the microscope," she said. "So it could be something or it could be nothing. But it's not definitive as a cause of death right now."

Urso was a rookie with Columbus Crew, playing six games this season but succumbing to a groin injury in May. He played college soccer for UNC Tar Heels and represented the United States in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2007.

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