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Ross Fletcher, Sounders parting ways at end of the year

The Seattle Sounders will be in the market for a new play-by-play announcer once again, as the club announced on Thursday that this will be Ross Fletcher's final season as the lead voice. While Fletcher will call any potential Sounders playoff games on the radio, it's possible that Sunday's regular-season finale will be his final TV appearance as postseason games will likely air on national TV.

"I would like to thank the Sounders players for providing some amazing moments on which to commentate," Fletcher said in the team release. "Most importantly, I want to say a huge thank you to the fans, who since my first day here have been incredibly supportive. My family and I consider Seattle as home and we will always cherish the way in which the fans accepted us. I would like nothing more than to finish my time here by repaying them with a winning Sounders goal call in the MLS Cup Final."

When Fletcher came to the Sounders before the start of the 2012 season, he had big shoes to fill. Arlo White was much beloved in his two years as the play-by-play man. But Fletcher's playful personality and ability to rise to big moments won over many fans, who were likely skeptical of another British voice.

Fletcher's role with the team started to take on a new form this year, though. With the Sounders on national TV basically a third of their season, Fletcher started doing more work on the streaming side. Fletcher did a series of longer-form interviews with various Sounders, most notably a sit-down with Osvaldo Alonso and his father about their reunion.

There was no immediate word as to what Fletcher's next stop will be, but he apparently called Europa League match for Fox Sports on Thursday and will surely land on his feet.

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