The Sounders FC broadcast booth will include a familiar accent and a familiar face in 2012.
On Tuesday, the club introduced British Broadcasting Corporation veteran Ross Fletcher as the club’s play-by-play announcer and former goalkeeper Kasey Keller of Olympia as analyst.
“It’s exciting for me to be involved with our broadcasts and stay involved with the club,” Keller said through a release. “I enjoyed my past experiences with broadcasting in England under a range of scenarios, and it’s appealing to be joining the Sounders in this capacity. It’s going to be fun.”
The pair will replace Arlo White, who left after two seasons to become lead soccer announcer at NBC Sports.
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Like White, Fletcher comes to Major League Soccer after covering English soccer for the BBC. Also like White, he speaks with a notable British accent.
“From the British point of view – I’m being very British, we often blow our own trumpet, I guess, it’s just our way – we are pretty much considered as world-leading broadcasters when it comes to soccer,” Fletcher said in a conference call. “We have that heritage, we have that brand with the BBC that is a world-renowned and world-respected brand, and we are the best at what we do.”
Fletcher, 32, spent the last 51/2 years covering English Premier League and Championship soccer. For seven years he was the voice of Derby County, where he handled the 2007 championship playoff final in which Derby beat West Bromwich Albion in front of 75,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in London.
The Sounders will report to training camp next week, and will resume play in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on March 7.
The team of Fletcher and Keller will debut March 17, when the Sounders open their fourth MLS season at home against Toronto FC.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 email@example.com twitter/donruiztnt blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer