Sounders FC will have not only a new look in 2012, but a new voice as well.
The Sounders continued the alteration of their roster Wednesday by declining options on veteran forwards Nate Jaqua, Pat Noonan and Taylor Graham and No. 2 goalkeeper Terry Boss.
It also was announced that broadcaster Arlo White is leaving after two seasons to become the play-by-play voice of NBC Sports Group’s coverage of Major League Soccer.
“It’s such a great opportunity I just couldn’t turn it down,” White said. “It’s going to be great for the career. And also I stay on the radar: I’ll still be in MLS, so I’ll be visiting plenty, hopefully.”
White is a native of England, who worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation before signing a three-year contract to become the voice of the Sounders in 2010. He replaced Kevin Calabro, who filled the role during their expansion season.
White immediately became a fan favorite and one of the most recognizable faces and voices of the franchise.
The club allowed him out of the final year of his contract.
“Arlo has set a standard that will be difficult to match, and (he) established a connection with our soccer family that will certainly be missed,” owner Joe Roth said in a press release. “We have begun the search for the new voice of the Sounders FC and remain confident that the selection will maintain the high quality the club strives for and the fans have come to expect.”
In August, the NBC Sports Group acquired a three-year deal to broadcast MLS matches. The 2012 season’s coverage will kick off March 11 and will include four matches on NBC and about 40 more on the NBC Sports Network (currently Versus).
The Sounders’ personnel moves do not necessarily end those players’ careers in Seattle. They are free to re-sign by Friday.
However, Boss wrote on his Facebook account that he is retiring after suffering a series of concussions last season. He was not considered a contender to take the starting job vacated by Kasey Keller.
Jaqua and Graham are original Sounders. Jaqua came from Houston in the expansion draft, and Graham was promoted from the USL Sounders. Noonan joined the club in 2010 after being waived by Colorado.
Already this offseason, the club has lost three original Sounders: Keller to retirement, defender James Riley in the expansion draft and defender Tyson Wahl by trade.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 email@example.com twitter/donruiztnt blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer