Philadelphia Union announced the club’s broadcasting team for the 2016 season today, which will be anchored by renowned play-by-play announcer JP Dellacamera and color analyst Peter Pappas for the third consecutive season. Joining the team in 2016 will be Union Insider Marisa Pilla and Bethlehem Steel FC play-by-play announcer Dave Leno for pre-game and halftime shows. All 34 Union matches will be aired live in 2016 with 31 airing locally, either on 6abc, Live Well Network, Comcast SportsNet or The Comcast Network.
“While we continue to stress our commitment to a strong match-day experience at Talen Energy Stadium, we strongly believe in setting a similar standard for our fans at home,” Philadelphia Union Chief Business Officer Tim McDermott said. “Having a broadcast team anchored by JP and Peter really speaks to that. Together, they deliver a quality that is second to none in MLS. In addition, we’re very excited to have Marisa and Dave on our pre-game and halftime shows, offering a new energy we’re extremely confident in.”
Dellacamera enters his seventh season calling Union matches and has virtually done it all in terms of broadcasting American soccer. He’s called multiple FIFA World Cup matches, various MLS action on multiple networks and has been the voice of the Union since its inception. Most famously, he called the 1999 Women’s World Cup where the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated China after an intense penalty shootout in the final. Dellacamera has also covered other matches such as the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final, the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics for NBC, and most recently the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil for ESPN Radio, as well as Fox’s lead for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Alongside Dellacamera, Pappas will enter his third season as the color analyst for the Union. A 13-year veteran goalkeeper for the indoor soccer team, Philadelphia KiXX, Pappas will continue his role on TV, as well as co-host the Union’s 90th Minute Radio Show. During his playing career, he recorded 5,399 saves and 230 wins, while logging more than an additional 2,000 minutes and 450 saves in the postseason. He was also named MISL Goalkeeper of the Year on four occasions (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007) and was an All-League selection eight times. A graduate of Philadelphia University, Pappas was also a three-time Philadelphia Soccer Seven All-Star in goal for the Rams from 1992 through 1994. This included being named the Soccer Seven Player of the Year as a senior in 1994. He is still the program’s all-time leader in career victories with 33 and saves with 522 while his 20 career shutouts ranks second all-time.
New to the broadcast in 2016 will be Pilla, who joined as the Union Insider in January. She’ll take a place on the Union’s pre-game and halftime shows. A native of the Philadelphia area, Pilla grew up in Churchville, Pa. and attended Council Rock South high school. A graduate of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism, Pilla joined the Union from CSN Mid-Atlantic where she served as an on-air contributor covering the Washington Wizards and D.C. United. Pilla also worked as a sideline reporter, covering Colonial Athletic Association men's and women's basketball.
Also new to the Union broadcast team is another local, Dave Leno, hailing from Richboro, Pa. As announced earlier, Leno will be Bethlehem Steel FC’s inaugural play-by-play announcer and will also serve on the Union’s pre-game and halftime shows with Pilla. He is currently wrapping up his fourth season announcing ESPN college basketball, appearing on ESPN3, ESPNews and ESPNU this year. In addition to those duties, Leno has worked with ONE World Sports and the Big Ten Network, broadcasting college and professional soccer matches.
All 34 matches during the 2016 season will be broadcast live, either nationally or on official TV partners, 6abc, Comcast SportsNet or The Comcast Network. The Union will have 31 local broadcasts this season with four coming on 6abc/Live Well Network and the remaining 27 on either CSN/TCN.
The Union will start their seventh season in MLS on Sunday, March 6 at FC Dallas. The game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. and will air on The Comcast Network. After playing against defending Eastern Conference Champion Columbus Crew SC on Saturday March on 12 on LWN, the Union will open Talen Energy Stadium on Sunday, March 20 against New England Revolution on 6abc.