We got a meeting this morning with the Arlo White, the Sounders' new radio-and-TV play-by-play voice.
A few highlights of things his said:
On whether he'll treat the Seattle listeners differently than BBC listeners:"I don’t think so. One of the challenges I’m going to face is do I call it soccer or football. I think it’s a sophisticated football audience here – in Washington and in Seattle – so I don’t think I will be. I think I’ve got to call the game as I see it and as I would any game in the U.K. I think the people watching it and they enjoy it, in a way it’s down to them to go and find out. I don’t think you hold people’s hand through a 90-minute game."
On simulcasting radio and TV for the first time:"One of the keys to it I think for the radio audience is where is the ball on the field, without over-talk, because the TV audience doesn’t necessarily want too much talking during the TV broadcast either. That will be a challenge. That will be something I can learn as I go, I guess."
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On knowing EPL better than MLS: "I think that’s a fair comment, but I think I displayed in the Houston game that you do your homework. That’s part and parcel of the job, isn’t it?"
On his career in England:"I reached a very good point at the BBC in the UK in terms – soccer being the main sport, Premier League being the main sport. I was going until two weeks ago to two Premier League games a week, presenting big programs from these grounds, from these stadiums. The biggest sports show on UK radio is “Saturday Sports on 5” and I presented that as the stand-in: So there you are as the man giving the information to the whole of the UK, as they’re getting into cars going to games. You know what it’s like in the UK: thousands upon thousands of people go to games every weekend. … They’re getting in their cars wanting to know the scores, and you’re the guy giving that information to people. It’s a highly esteemed position to be in. So when you are next in line to take that full time there has to be something big to entice you to get off of that ladder. And when I came to Seattle for the first time for the opening night, it blew me away, it absolutely blew me away. And that was only enforced really by the second trip ... for the Houston game. It’s the passion of the supporters. Don’t take this the wrong way, but this is not a Soccer Mum audience, this is a crowd, this is a proper football crowd – what I consider to be one – standing up chanting, -- cleaner than some of the chanting I’ve heard at home frankly. But the passion of it is there."