The Columbus Crew are preparing for their first game following the death of midfielder Kirk Urso and the team announced plans to pay homage to the late, former member of the club on Wednesday.
The Crew, which considered postponing Saturday’s match against Toronto F.C. at Crew Stadium before finally deciding to move forward with the game, have planned several forms of tribute to honor Urso prior to their upcoming match and beyond.
Fans may notice a floral wreath featuring an image of Urso when they enter Crew Stadium Plaza, and are encouraged to pay respects and leave remembrances, according to a team release.
Prior to kickoff, the Crew will play a video tribute to Urso followed by a moment of silence. The team will also wear “No. 15” armbands during the match against Toronto as Urso wore the team’s No. 15 shirt in games. The armbands will then be replaced with a commemorative jersey patch for the remainder of the season, according to the release.
The match day program will feature a commemorative poster of Urso and a “15” will be mowed into the Crew Stadium grass.
The team also announced plans to affix a plaque honoring Urso to a boulder, which will be placed under a newly planted maple tree and unveiled during a ceremony at the team’s Founder’s Park.
Urso died of natural causes early Sunday morning at a bar in Columbus, according to multiple reports. His memorial service will take place Friday from 2-9 p.m. at Christ the King Catholic Church in Lombard, Ill. Urso’s viewing and mass are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and will both take place in Lombard.
Columbus’ match against Toronto will kickoff Saturday at 7:30 p.m.