ST. LOUIS — “Watch your step.”

Josh McPherson is somebody you’d want to listen to when navigating a live construction site.

Granted, it’s easy to misstep when your attention is pulled in every direction thanks, in part, to thousands of red and blue seats, towering structures and a perfect green rectangle of grass.

McPherson understands.

After all, he’s played a big part in the development of this particular site.

“I’m the Director of Stadium Grounds,” McPherson said.

He and his team are responsible for making sure every pitch St. Louis City SC players kick, sprint and celebrate on is in perfect condition. That includes Centene Stadium’s playing surface and nearby training facilities.

“We want it to be safe for the athletes to play on,” McPherson said. “Some of these details [in the stadium] were [planned] almost two years ago.”

The details go beyond your basic gardening, fortunately McPherson brings 20 years of experience to the new squad, including 12 years as the Director of Sports Fields at the University of Missouri.

“Below the stands we have a full heating and airing system, so what I’m able to do is I can heat the root zone. Even if its colder I’m able to keep the grass growing,” McPherson explained. “Also, in heavy rain systems we have a sub-air system where we can just flip a switch and all that water is sucked up so the pitch can play perfectly while we’re in the middle of a downpour.”

In less than one year, you may not see those little details when St. Louis’ first MLS franchise will takes the pitch for its inaugural season.

But they, like McPherson, will certainly be at work.

“As you get older in life, the opportunities to have butterflies in your stomach that make you feel nervous or excited are fleeting, right?” McPherson said. “So this is going to be a great opportunity in that first match to have all those feelings again.”

St. Louis City SC will begin it’s inaugural season when the next MLS season kicks off in February of 2023.