Seattle Sounders broadcaster Ross Fletcher was at Starfire Sports Complex on Friday, watching the team train as he often does.
The difference this time is that Fletcher was doing research for what could be his final broadcast after four seasons as the club’s play-by-play voice.
Sounders FC announced this week that it will part ways with Fletcher at the end of this season. That could come Sunday, when the Sounders end the Major League Soccer regular season with a home match against Real Salt Lake. Or it could come during the playoffs, as late as the MLS Cup in December.
Regardless, one of the team’s new offseason chores will be hiring its fourth lead broadcaster since its expansion 2009 season, following Kevin Calabro, Arlo White and Fletcher.
On Friday, Fletcher declined to add to the statements included in an announcement appearing on the Soundersfc.com website.
“I have had a very enjoyable four years with the Sounders’ amazing broadcast team,” he said in that report. “I would like to thank the Sounders players for some amazing moments on which to commentate. 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 have accepted us.”
Fletcher came to Seattle from England, where he was the voice of Derby County and worked with BBC Sports.
“Ross has been a strong ambassador for our club over the past four seasons and a dedicated steward of our broadcast properties,” owner Adrian Hanauer said on the website. “We wish him every success on his next opportunity, and we’d like to thank him for his service.”
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid, who was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame earlier this month, received another honor this week when he was named Pac-12 Conference Coach of the Century.
“A century’s a long time,” Schmid said. “It makes me feel really old. It’s a great honor. I was really pleased that nine of the first 11 are UCLA guys.”
Schmid coached the Bruins from 1980 to 1998, going 322-63-33 with three national championships.
Also honored this week was Sounders captain Brad Evans, named the club’s humanitarian of the year. He has worked on projects benefiting children, breast cancer awareness and the Humane Society.
Other Sounders nominated for the honor were Cristian Roldan, Michael Azira and Lamar Neagle of Federal Way.
Major League Soccer’s humanitarian of the year will be announced Nov. 5.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808