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Fuel Soccer Talk: De Bruyne is “mesmerizing;” What’s next for St. Louis?; Stadium renderings in Nashville

Is Kevin De Bruyne the best soccer player in the world?

Full disclosure…I’m a City fan.

But is there any doubt that Kevin De Bruyne is one of the best players in the world. Maybe even THE best!

He is simply brilliant with the ball. There are players who 99 percent of the time just make the safe pass. There is a Man City who either makes the safe pass or gives the ball away – but I will leave his identity to myself. De Bruyne either makes the safe pass or the brilliant pass, threading the needle or hooking/placing the ball to a perfect spot for a teammate to run onto. He’s one of those players you can’t take your eyes off.

De Bruyne now has 50 Premier League assists in just 122 appearances.

But don’t take my word for it.

From Gary Neville: “He mesmerizes me, De Bruyne. He mesmerizes me watching him. He is the type of player I just think is so good, he’s world class like you wouldn’t believe. His positions are always good but I alluded in commentary about, I used the names David Beckham and Steven Gerrard, because they’re the two best crossers of the ball that I’ve seen from this right-hand side in the Premier League. He matches them in terms of the quality that he delivers and that is high praise.”

Indeed!

What’s next in St. Louis after MLS expansion announcement?

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis has its MLS franchise in hand, but the next item on the club’s priority list may be just as challenging.

For Jim Kavanaugh and the rest of the ownership group, almost everything depends on the stadium.

“The next priority, at a high level, is to finalize the land and the specific design of the stadium,” Kavanaugh said at Tuesday’s formal announcement, which will make the city home to the league’s 28th team in 2022.

The stadium, designed to accommodate up to 25,000 fans, will sit on the western edge of downtown. It will serve as the terminus of a sports corridor anchored in the east by Busch Stadium, the nest of the MLB’s St. Louis Cardinals, and Enterprise Center, home of the 2019 Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues.

“We have to get the stadium process moving as fast as we possibly can,” Kavanaugh said. “That’s really what’s going to drive everything to our projected season opener in 2022.”

The architectural stadium partners, Snow Kreilich Architects and St. Louis-based HOK, unveiled stadium renderings in April. The rectangular design surrounds a field 40 feet below street level. A translucent canopy will cover the seats. A mixed-use area of retail stores, restaurants and gathering spaces are planned adjacent to the stadium. The stadium will be financed overwhelmingly by private funds.

FULL STORY 

Nashville SC release new stadium renderings

Everyone loves a good stadium rendering. Thankfully, Nashville SC are here to satisfy our collective fix with a new look at what will be the largest soccer-specific stadium in the US when it’s built, with an expected capacity of 30,000.

Nashville CEO Ian Ayre gave an update on the progress of the stadium and revealed the new renderings at a meeting with the Metro Sports Authority on Thursday.

Nashville SC are set to begin their MLS expansion season in 2020, with the new stadium currently projected to open in 2022. Until then, the club will share their home games with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. During his presentation on Thursday, Ayre said Nashville is on track to hit that 2022 target for opening the new venue, adding that the design and development phase is currently underway and will hopefully be completed by October of this year.

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LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

Email me at tajacoby@comcast.net