Replacing Dellacamera

Wednesday, March 02, 2011 | View Comments

- Jason Davis

Love him or hate him, JP Dellacamera has served American soccer admirably during his three decades calling every form of the game imaginable. In recent years, as the lead American voice on ESPN, Dellacamera called the MLS weekly broadcast as well as National Team games for both the US men and women. That run has now come to an end with Dellacamera switching over to FSC.

Dellacamera leaving ESPN, hardly a surprise after the network announced the signing of Ian Darke as their lead soccer voice, isn't the overriding concern from a big picture standpoint. Tenure and loyalty aren't factors in the world of soccer broadcasting, and Dellacamera himself isn't a draw as other long-serving sports broadcasting voices are in other American sports. FSC gives him a place to land relatively comfortably from national perspective, while he remains the lead local voice for the Philadelphia Union. Dellcamera will be fine.

How will MLS broadcasts on ESPN do? Is Dellacamera's replacement certain to be an upgrade? We know Darke was hired to be the network's main guy, and he's currently working ESPN broadcasts of English Premier League matches with Steve McManaman, but that necessarily mean he'll be doing MLS games? For a good portion of the season, both on the front and back end, Darke will have duties in England. Flying back and forth across the Atlantic (when the schedule allows) doesn't sound like a workable arrangement, and even if Darke was willing, the quality of his work would undoubtedly suffer.

The story linked above about Dellacamera's departure from ESPN by Jonathan Tannenwald reports that ESPN will make an announcement about the MLS voice for this season next week. If it's not Darke, which it doesn't appear it will be, it's anyone's guess who will step in for JP.

Max Bretos does already work for ESPN, however. Just sayin'.

Any other candidates? I suppose another Brit is always possible. The accent sells.

The choice is no small thing; people certainly get up in arms over the commentators doing soccer in the US, and the issue is at the heart of television presentation.

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