Union play-by-play announcer JP Dellacamera, the most decorated of all American soccer broadcasters, will once again be on center stage at a World Cup.
Dellacamera, Fox’s lead voice of U.S. women’s national team games, will be the network’s No. 1 play-by-play caller at this summer’s women’s tournament in France. He’ll be joined by former U.S. national team midfielder Aly Wagner, his broadcast partner for the past few years.
This will be Dellacamera’s sixth women’s World Cup, and his 15th overall after nine men’s tournaments.
“This is so special, because for me it’s a milestone,” he told the Inquirer. “Fifteen is a number that if you had asked me years ago, I would never have guessed I would do that many.”
One of those men’s tournaments was the 1998 edition in France, which Dellacamera called for ESPN. (Among the games he called there was the famous Argentina-England round of 16 showdown.)
Last year, Dellacamera was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame as he won the Colin Jose Media Award for lifetime achievement in the industry. He is the first play-by-play announcer to ever receive the honor.
Fox also announced its broadcast schedule for the 52 World Cup games. Twenty-two of them will air on Fox’s flagship broadcast network, the most women’s World Cup games on over-the-air TV in American history. Twenty-seven will air on Fox Sports 1, and three will air on Fox Sports 2.
If the U.S. national team wins its group and makes the final, all of their games except one — the Round of 16 contest — are slated to be broadcast on Fox’s network.
Other notable group-stage games on over-the-air Fox include England-Scotland on June 9, Germany-Spain and France-Norway on June 12, Australia-Brazil on June 13, and Netherlands-Canada on June 20. In the knockout rounds, Fox will air two round of 16 games, two quarterfinals, one semifinal, the third-place game and the final. Fox Sports 1 will carry the other contests.
If you’re wondering about the Fox Sports 2 games, they’re all 3 p.m. kickoffs when Fox’s over-the-air network has programming conflicts. One of them is obvious: the men’s U.S. Open golf tournament will bump Canada-New Zealand on June 15. The other FS2 games are Jamaica-Australia on June 18 and Scotland-Argentina on June 19.
For the record, in Russia last year, Fox only had to contend with a kickoff that late for one game, and it was on a Saturday. Four years ago in Canada, Fox put 16 games on its over-the-air network, and seven on Fox Sports 2, The Americans’ tournament opener and round of 16 game were on FS1, and the rest of the team’s games were on Fox.
The other big thing Fox unveiled Wednesday — which, not coincidentally, is 100 days until the World Cup kicks off — is its tournament studio site in Paris. It’s a quite glamorous location: a terrace cafe at the Musée de l’Homme, an anthropology museum right across the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower. The museum is also adjacent to the Trocadero Gardens.
Not surprisingly, Fox’s studio will be built so that you’ll see that famous landmark behind the main set during studio programming throughout the tournament. Fox hasn’t said yet whether fans will be able to visit the studio site as they did in downtown Vancouver four years ago. The cafe is a bit above street level, but it’s close enough to be visible. A rendering distributed by Fox showed people behind the set.
Paris will, of course, be one of the tournament’s host cities. The venerable Parc des Princes stadium will be the stage for the World Cup’s opening game, four other group stage games, one Round of 16 game and one quarterfinal. The United States will play Chile there in the group stage on June 16, and could face host France in the quarterfinals there if both teams win their groups and advance that far.
Lyon, home of the three-time reigning UEFA Women’s Champions League winners, will host the semifinals and final. The other venues are Reims, Le Havre, Valenciennes and Rennes in the northern half of France, and Montpellier, Grenoble and Nice in the south.