Veteran soccer broadcaster J.P. Dellacamera has moved from ESPN, where he was the network's top soccer announcer for many years, to Fox Soccer Channel, a source confirmed to me this evening. He will be the play-by-play voice of FSC's Friday night Major League Soccer telecasts this season.
Dellacamera will only work FSC's Friday games, not its Saturday games, so that he can remain the play-by-play voice for the Philadelphia Union on its local broadcasts. I was told by a team spokesperson today that the club has not yet decided who the color analyst will be this season.
Dellacamera had been with ESPN for a very long time, going back to the Major Indoor Soccer League in the 1980s. Among his most famous calls for the network was Paul Caligiuri's "shot heard 'round the world" goal for the U.S. national team against Trinidad and Tobago in 1989, that qualified the U.S. for the 1990 World Cup. He also was the lead announcer for the 1999 Women's World Cup on ESPN and ABC.
I've been told by multiple sources that Dellacamera had a three-year contract with the network and an option for a fourth year, and the fourth year was not picked up.
An announcement about ESPN's new voice for MLS telecasts will be made next week, a spokesperson for ESPN told me. Michael Lewis of BigAppleSoccer.com and the New York Daily News has reported that Adrian Healey will get the job.
I was not given any details about whether Dellacamera's departure affects who will call U.S. national team games, either on the men's or women's side. Even with Ian Darke's arrival he was still in the mix for some smaller matches.
Darke is ESPN's main soccer announcer, including the English Premier League and big MLS and U.S. national team games. That includes the upcoming Women's World Cup this summer.
But he lives in the U.K., so it would probably be impractical for him to fly back and forth across the Atlantic to call MLS games on a regular basis.
Having said that, ESPN made a clear move last year towards using announcers with British accents to call soccer for its American audience. That included relegating Dellacamera to radio broadcasts for last summer's World Cup, and using four British announcers for television.
That there was writing on the wall at that point was pretty clear to all of us. Now Dellacamera has moved on to start a new chapter in his career.