When the Union announced the hire of broadcasting veteran JP Dellacamera back in January to run the play-by-play of regional broadcasts, the excitement level around the organization increased dramatically.
Experienced as they come, Dellacamera brings three decades of experience of knowledge to the club and admits that he’s just as excited to get started going in the City of Brotherly Love as those waiting to hear him call goals this season.
“I was drawn to the Philadelphia job for several reasons,” Dellacamera told MLSsoccer.com in a phone interview this week. “The Philadelphia television market being one. A chance to work again with Nick Sakiewicz. I enjoyed my working relationship with him immensely when I worked with him when he was in charge of the MetroStars. I've always admired the passion of Philadelphia sports fans and this gives me a chance to work with them.”
Combining his MLS duties with those he’s taken on with the Union, Dellacamera will surely have a busy year ahead. But he says the strong set-up of the Union’s front office was something he couldn’t turn down.
“I’m impressed with the leadership of the Philadelphia Union, starting at the top with Nick Sakiewicz and Tom Veit,” said Dellacamera of the Union’s brass. “I don’t know whether it was by design or whether it just happened this way, but it seems like Philadelphia has embraced the hiring of young people. Young, talented people. I think that when you have young people involved with a sports franchise, they bring a certain vitality or energy to the team and to the game.”
That mentality has translated onto the field as well when you look at the roster team manager Peter Nowak has put together. A mix of young talent and veteran leadership, the Union have created an exciting product so far this season.
After only three games, Dellacamera sees a lot of positives in the squad and thinks they’ll have a solid first season in the league.
“They are a hard-working team, which is not a surprise considering the coaching staff and what Peter Nowak brings to the table,” Dellacamera said of the team’s mentality. “I would have always expected them to be a team that can compete on any given night with anybody. When you look at this team, there are a lot of good pieces to it.”
Saturday in New York will be the first time Dellacamera calls a game specifically for the Union with his broadcast partner Kyle Martino. With a huge rivalry in the works between the Red Bulls and Union, Dellacamera can’t wait to get started.
“Our first game on Saturday is going to be a great experience for a lot of reasons,” he said. “Firstly, that stadium -- Red Bull Arena is fantastic. I’ve already done a couple of games there and it’s a great place to be. If you take all those New York sports fans and mix them with, I’m sure, many, many Philadelphia fans including the Sons of Ben, I think it’s going to be the start of a great rivalry.”
As good as that match may be, being in front of the home fans is what Dellacamera is really looking forward to.
“When I have the chance to call a home game, whether it’s at the Linc or PPL Park, I think it’s going to be awesome,” said Dellacamera. “To hear the passion of the Philadelphia fans as they back their team, it’s going to be really special.”