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Originally published Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Arlo White thanks Sounders fans as he heads to national TV

Seattle's announcer should be back in town often for NBC games.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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The silence was uncomfortable for Arlo White.

As rumors and reports swirled of him leaving Sounders FC to become the lead play-by-play man for NBC Sports' soccer coverage, the Englishman was inundated with questions and messages on Twitter. But until an official announcement of the move was made Wednesday, he kept mum.

"I felt a bit rude ignoring everybody because I've made a point to get in touch with as many fans as possible after games, during the week, with little updates here and there," said White in a phone interview, estimating he got around 300 tweets.

Now his voice will be heard — nationally.

White, who joined the Sounders before the 2010 season, will start calling MLS games for NBC Sports on March 11. He will also call a handful of U.S. men's national team games for the network, which announced a three-year media rights deal with MLS in August.

In two seasons, White quickly became beloved by Sounders fans as the voice of the team. The 38-year-old said he was enjoying himself "tremendously" in Seattle, but an opportunity to work on a national stage was too good to pass up.

"I had to look ahead to the next 10 years of my career, really, and when someone like NBC Sports comes calling for you, you have to listen," he said.

White had many thanks to offer upon his departure, especially to the Sounders fans, who have given him support despite their disappointment in the move. White also thanked members of Seattle's front office for not standing in the way of his opportunity, even though he still had a year on his contract.

The Sounders are likely to be a heavy draw for nationally televised games, so White is hopeful he'll be back often.

The Sounders have already begun the search for his replacement, majority owner Joe Roth said on the team website. White himself suggested a couple candidates.

White said he'll miss the sense of being a part of a club.

"I'm especially thankful for the fans for accepting me as quickly as they did," he said. "I say this with absolute honesty: They were the two best years of my entire career so far. They've made such an indelible impression on me that I'll never forget it."

Sounders decline contract options; Boss to retire

Sounders FC has declined the contract options on forward Nate Jaqua, forward/midfielder Pat Noonan, goalkeeper Terry Boss and defender Taylor Graham, the league announced Wednesday. They will be eligible for the two-stage MLS re-entry draft on Monday and Dec. 12, but could be re-signed by Seattle or opt out before Friday.

Boss, on his Facebook account, said that due to his concussion history doctors have told him to retire. The 30-year-old was the primary backup to Kasey Keller the past two years. Boss didn't play the final months of the 2011 season after sustaining a concussion while serving with the Puerto Rican national team in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

"Although (it's) sad news, it's difficult not to also feel very blessed," posted Boss. "By (God's) grace I have been fortunate to play the sport I love for a living for the last eight years."

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