Arlo White has taken a job with NBC Sports to become their national soccer announcer, according to a report from KING5, the Seattle Sounders broadcast partner. This would be a considerable loss for Sounders fans, who have grown to almost universally love the British broadcaster.
When asked, the Sounders gave a "no comment at this time," which isn't exactly comforting. Sports Illustrated writer Grant Wahl had said that NBC was pursuing White, so it's not like this news comes out of the blue. But on a day in which the Sounders already lost two significant pieces of their team, this is not the kind of news most of us were hoping to hear.
White came to the Sounders at the start of the 2010 season, largely as an unknown commodity to the American audience. He had done some work with the BBC in England, but was far from a household name there.
It didn't take long for him to ingratiate himself with Sounders fans, though, and is now generally considered to be one of the best announcers calling the game in the United States. He is probably the best researched announcer here and puts in countless hours making sure he understands everything from the pronunciation of players' names to the opposing teams' tendencies. His goal calls will surely be attached to many of our best memories of the team.
Still, it's hard not to feel at least a little bit happy for him if this is true. White will surely be back in Seattle to call national games and this is clearly a good thing for his career. There are no details about what is happening, so it's at least remotely possible that he could somehow remain with the team on some kind of part-time basis (although that does seem like a long shot).
For now, we'll try to find out more information before jumping to any conclusions, but considering where this report is coming from, there's really no reason to doubt it.