U.S. men’s national team striker Jozy Altidore honored former North Carolina men’s soccer captain Kirk Urso last Friday night in a World Cup qualifier against Jamaica.
Altidore wore a pair of cleats that featured an Urso quote, “I am strong. I can overcome,” and both players initials and jersey numbers — “JA17” and “KU15.”
Urso wore No. 3 as captain of the 2011 national champion Tar Heels, switching to No. 15 when he was selected by the Columbus Crew with the tenth pick of the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft.
Urso died Aug. 5, 2012, at the age of 22 of a congenital heart defect. Proceeds from a raffle of Altidore’s cleats benefited the Crew Soccer Foundation’s Kirk Urso Memorial Fund, which supports youth heart health research and programming, and the Jozy Altidore foundation.
Just as Urso did 15 times during his career at UNC, Altidore found the back of the net — a goal that came in the 80th minute sealed a 2-0 U.S. win.