Former Sounders FC broadcaster Arlo White will be back in the booth this weekend as he will split broadcast duties with Ross Fletcher. White was at practice Friday and spoke with reporters for a few minutes.
Here is a transcript (posted at the bottom is a separate interview with SoundersFC.com):
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(How does it feel to call another Sounders game on the radio and TV?) “I never thought I’d be off the airwaves and I look forward to the opportunity. I’ve actually missed doing radio because that’s where I came through with the BBC, so doing the first half on radio is going to be fantastic. And the second half is on television with Kasey. I’ve never actually worked with Kasey. I’m good friends with him, but we get a chance to call a game together, which will be awesome. Just thoroughly looking forward to it. I think you probably gather from my Twitter postings and things like that that I just feel so strongly and so fondly about my time here. Any opportunity to come back and to do a game and to relive it all, I grab with both hands.”
(How would you explain what seems to be such a deep connection you have with the Sounders community despite being here for only two seasons?) “It’s kind of both ways because (those two years) had such an impact on my life, as well. I think I joined something that was very special. It was very new, it was very exciting, it was very successful on the field, with Open Cup wins and being able to voice those, and getting to the playoffs, the sellouts crowds — it was a very special time for Sounders fans and Seattle sports, I think. I came at just the right time, and my journey subsequent to that, joining NBC a lot earlier than I expected as I explained at the time. I thought there might be a move at some point, but after two years, that was very sudden. Then, to be sent home to do the Premier League was mind-boggling, really. But that connection on my side will always be there and it appears from some of the fan base, as well, judging from some of the reaction on Twitter. It’s been mutually beneficial, I think, and it’s been a nice tale I enjoy telling to people back home.”
(How did this past season go for you, covering the Premier League for NBC Sports?) “I was delighted to be given the opportunity to start with. I was perhaps an unknown quantity to a lot of Premier League soccer guys in America who probably don’t follow MLS that closely. You’re following someone like Ian Darke with ESPN who has a tremendous reputation, and rightly so, because he’s brilliant. So there was an initial challenge to make it my own, and I had plenty of opportunities to do that because I called two games every weekend! It was busy, it was all-consuming, but it was thrilling, and we had a great season to kick things off, as well, with a title race going down to the last day. But all the twists and turns and the stories, the emergence of Liverpool, Jose Mourinho’s press conferences, Manchester City’s troubles and they came out and won it eventually on the last day — the narrative of the first season was absolutely brilliant. It was a pleasure to be a part of. I’m going to sit on my sun lounger for a week next week and look back on it all, just recharge and get back ready to go, because as Steven Gerrard said, we go again in August. We’ll be up for it.”
(What are your feelings about NBC’s television partnership with MLS ending after this season?) “I think there’s an element of regret on behalf of NBC. We’ve, I think, done a very good job for the league in the two and a half years that we’ve been involved in it. That won’t change between now at the end of the season. The whys and wherefores of the deal, I’m not privy to. I wish ESPN and FOX all the very best. Financially, it’s a decent deal, it seems, for Major League Soccer, and fixed kickoff times — that all looks good. I wish our colleagues all the very best with it.”
(How much have you kept up on the Sounders and maybe the three guys off with the national team?) “I keep up as closely as I can. There are games on national television at home. I watch the highlights on the website, as well. The world is such a smaller place now, so I’m pretty much up on everything that’s gone on this season. It’s been thrilling to watch. To see Clint start the season in this fashion has been absolutely terrific. I know he’s going to be missing, but duty calls. The Sounders will benefit even further from his exploits at the World Cup. DeAndre has been terrific, and Brad … look at him, working toward to the World Cup in Brazil. What an achievement. I couldn’t be prouder of him.”