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January 11, 2012 at 1:50 AM

Highlights from a conference call with new play-by-play man Ross Fletcher

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Great, great day. Am the new Seattle @sounders fc commentator in the MLS. Here starts a bright new chapter. Will be amazing! Bring it on!
Jan 10 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

I wanted to add a little more from Tuesday’s conference call with your new voice of the Sounders, Ross Fletcher. He took some time off during a trip to Austria to speak to reporters and here are some highlights (with quite a few after the jump):

* * *

He’s quite an accomplished 32-year-old. Fletcher estimated he was about 22 years old when he got his big break and was hired by BBC Radio Derby as the voice of Derby County. After seven years, he moved on to cover the EPL and Championship as a commentator/reporter for BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra. “To me, (this is) just a wonderful, wonderful chance to expand on my humble commentary career so far,” he said. He’s humble. The career isn’t.

He’s replaced a popular announcer before. At BBC Radio Derby, Fletcher was replacing Graham Richards, who after 26 years on the call had become a bit of a local icon. Fletcher stuck to his style and quickly won the fans over. Not hard to see why that might be useful experience in Seattle. “I’m used to dealing with the pressure of taking over for a guy who’s held in really high esteem,” he said. I’m just really hoping that I can carry over the fantastic work that Arlo’s done over the past two years and continue what is already, obviously, a great legacy that he’s left.” Plus he’s a friend and former colleague of White, so there won’t be any added pressure there.

He’s already a Sounder. Fletcher said the first thing that stood out to him about the job was the passion of the fan base. He’s following suit and pursued the open position when he learned White was leaving. “I’m 100-percent Sounders; cut me and I’ll bleed rave green,” he said.

He’s comfortable sharing a booth and eager to with Keller. Fletcher guesses that around 95-percent of his broadcasting career has been with someone else in the booth, so he’s comfortable with the team’s shift in that direction. It creates a three-way conversation with the listener, he says. He also knows much about Keller, both his storied career and standing in the community. “He’s a hero in Seattle,” Fletcher said. “He has such a resonance with the fans. They’ll hang on his every word and hopefully they’ll hang on my every word, as well. It’s a brilliant chance to be, hopefully, one of the top double-acts in the MLS.”

He’s got some Seattle connections of his own. Fletcher was a huge NBA fan as a kid and coincidentally had a poster of Sonics star forward Shawn Kemp on his wall. He also dropped in a Gary Payton reference on the call. That has to be worthy of some props.

He’s loves the city. An avid skier, Fletcher called Seattle “superb.” He loves the easygoing feel of the big city and said: “It struck me as a place with real culture, a great vibe about it.” Not to mention he was impressed by the amount of fans around town, as he’s come across ’em at a high rate. Might he be here a while?

He’s knows all you need to know about Mauro Rosales. When asked if any players had already caught his attention, Fletcher started with the Argentine. “He has that spark of genius,” he said. Well put.

He’s on Twitter. Give him a follow.

Lastly, he can get a little bit excited. To be fair, this is a huge goal, one that pushed Derby County into the Premiership. But Sounders fans will also be hoping for similarly huge goals in the near future.


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