Last year I berated the terrible local announcing from Kevin Calabro and Greg Vanney when watching Seattle Sounders FC games. The months after that post saw little improvement by either commentator, and now they’re both gone. Vanney is not returning because he bored everyone to death, and Calabro did not renew his one year contract. One of those times Calabro couldn’t make the Sounders game due to other duties was last July against the Houston Dynamo. Filling in for the day was BBC Radio commentator Arlo White. I loved him, the fans loved him, and we wanted more Arlo. The Sounders decided that the fans would get their wish granted!
The native of Leicester, England, has called the past five Super Bowls for the BBC. He has handled studio and match duties for English Premier League soccer matches on TV and radio for the past nine years, and called cricket matches all over the world.
Through it all, he has always loved the United States, its culture, its sports, its variety. So when Sounders FC contacted him after Christmas to talk about a job opportunity with the club, White was all ears.
White will be introduced as Sounders FC’s new play-by-play man Wednesday. It’s a move the club made to have stability in the broadcast booth after shuffling through fill-in announcers for matches when Kevin Calabro was away from the team for other commitments.
White was one of those replacements. After an audition on the night of the team’s inaugural match, when he did a mock broadcast, White was brought in for the Sounders FC regular-season match against Houston last July at Qwest Field and was blown away by the atmosphere at the match.
“A great experience, and it just so happens to have led to this point, which is fantastic,” White said Tuesday at Seahawks headquarters.
White will call all Sounders FC matches on simulcast (radio and TV at the same time) and will work alone. The team is not bringing back color commentator Greg Vanney from last season.
I’m not a Sounders FC supporter but I do watch their games and adding Arlo is such a huge plus. He’s a very good commentator and um….Calabro isn’t a good soccer announcer. If I have to read one more idiotic “Calabro is a legend you can’t fire him” remark from the comments section of the Seattle Times then I’ll stab my eyes.
Welcome to Seattle, Arlo!