BY SPNW Staff 02:25PM 01/10/2012

Ross Fletcher Becomes ‘Voice Of The Sounders’

Ross Fletcher will work as the club’s play-by-play announcer and  Kasey Keller will serve as analyst for all Seattle Sounders FC TV and radio games, the club announced Tuesday.

“Ross and Kasey will bring a new dimension and perspective to Sounders FC broadcasts,” Sounders FC owner Joe Roth said. “The combination of Ross’ experience and Kasey’s knowledge gives us a sensational 1-2 punch which our fans deserve.”

Fletcher comes to the Sounders as a replacement for Arlo White, who resigned to become lead soccer announcer for NBC. He has spent the past five and a half years as a football commentator and reporter for the national stations BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, covering the English Premier League and the Championship.

In addition, for the past year he has been a regular voice across the station’s schedule as a sports bulletin presenter.

For seven years Fletcher worked as the voice of Derby County for BBC Radio Derby, commentating on the English Premier League and Championship. His most memorable call occurred in the 2007 Championship playoff final in which Derby beat West Bromwich Albion in front of 75,000 fans at Wembley Stadium.

During his time at the station, he was part of the highly successful team that won the coveted Sony Radio Academy “Station of the Year” title three times in five years.

“I’m honored to follow Arlo White and hope to match his enthusiasm and strong connection to the fans,” said Fletcher said. “The Sounders FC supporters are already legend, and I look forward to witnessing the dedication and passion of our fan base first hand.”

Keller completed his 20-year professional career in 2011 by earning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and Best XI honors. He served as the Sounders FC captain and was an All-Star selection each of his three seasons.

From 1991 to 2008 the Olympia native played in Europe while accumulating U.S. National Team goalkeeping career records for most caps (102), wins (53) and shutouts (47). Keller played in three of the world’s top leagues: England’s Premiership, Spain’s La Liga and Germany’s Bundesliga.

“It’s exciting for me to be involved with our broadcasts and stay involved with the club,” said Keller. “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.”

All Sounders FC MLS league matches not aired nationally will be carried live in high definition on KING-5 or KONG-6/16. All locally broadcast matches will also be aired either live outside of Seattle or on a delayed basis throughout the Northwest on ROOT Sports. Each match will also be aired live on the radio home of Sounders FC, News Talk 97.3 KIRO FM.

Seattle Sounders FC Off-season News/Transactions

  • Nov. 23: Lost defender James Riley to the Montreal Impact in the MLS expansion draft. Riley came to the Sounders in the 2008 expansion draft from the San Jose Earthquakes. After his selection, the Impact traded Riley to Chivas USA.
  • Nov. 23: Accepted the resignation of lead broadcaster Arlo White, who took a position with NBC as its lead announcer on MLS coverage.
  • Nov. 24: Traded defender Tyson Wahl to the Montreal Impact in exchange for allocation money. Wahl made 39 appearances for the Sounders in three seasons after coming to Seattle in the 2008 expansion draft from Kansas City, where he played three seasons.
  • Dec. 2: Announced that defender Taylor Graham, a seven-year MLS veteran, and goalkeeper Terry Boss both retired. They had been members of the Sounders since 2009.
  • Dec. 6: Announced that the club would kick off its fourth season in MLS on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at home; time, opponent, and national broadcast information to be announced.
  • Dec. 7: Signed Austrian goalkeeper Michael Gspurning as a replacement for Kasey Keller. Gspurning, 30, has been capped three times by Austria and played the past four seasons for Skoda Xanthi of Greece’s top flight.
  • Dec. 12: Selected D Marc Burch from D.C. United in the MLS re-entry process stage 2 draft.
  • Dec. 14: Signed Argentine midfielder Mauro Rosales to a two-year contract, announced at the club’s annual business meeting with season-ticket holders. Rosales, 30, set the club record with 13 assists in 26 league matches, ranking third in MLS. He also scored five goals.
  • Dec. 29: Signed Swedish defender Adam Johansson to a multi-year contract.
  • Jan. 3: Signed Burch, most recently of D.C. United, to a contract.
  • Jan. 5: Announced that the U.S. National Team had called in midfielder Brad Evans and defender Jeff Parke for a training camp that will run through Jan. 26 in the U.S. and Panama.
  • Jan. 10: Announced that Ross Fletcher, formerly of BBC Radio, and former goalkeeper Kasey Keller would serve as the team’s broadcast team, Fletcher as the play-by-play voice, Keller as analyst.

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