BEREA, Ohio — You want your local newsmakers to be open and honest with you, right? Let's be clear, then.
"Let's Be Clear" is all about transparency. WKYC has a clear, mobile newsroom that we're taking across the state over the next few weeks to talk to those making headlines in Ohio. Whether you agree with the guest, disagree, or are a fan of them, we know you have questions.
Click here to watch past episodes of "Let's Be Clear."
Now, we're back with Season 2 and on Friday, we sat down with U.S. Men's National Soccer Team head coach Gregg Berhalter.
Berhalter is in town this week as part of a Gold Cup Trophy Tour, in which he'll hold a Q&A at Platform Beer Co. Thursday night. The CONCACAF Gold Cup comes to FirstEnergy Stadium June 22, when the USMNT takes on Trinidad & Tobago.
"I'm excited about it, because I know how good Cleveland is as a sports city," Berhalter said. "I know how good Ohio is as a sports state."
Berhalter is in his first year leading the USMNT, taking the reigns back in December. He led the Columbus Crew to the playoffs in four of five seasons as head coach, and played for the USMNT in two World Cups prior to that.
"Like most Americans, I grew up playing baseball, basketball, and soccer," he said. "When I was about 12, I started to really focus in on soccer as my primary sport...My parents instilled a strong work ethic, that I need to keep practicing and keep training, and I was lucky enough to make it as a pro."
While soccer is the most popular sport throughout much of the rest of the world, it remains less popular in the United States. However, it has shown signs of significant growth, and Berhalter believes that will only continue.
"Major League soccer is spearheading the efforts to get soccer more popular," he said. "We've done a great job of building infrastructure, giving fans a great experience when their in the stadiums. Soccer will get there in America. There's no doubt about that."
That effort has also been spearheaded through the national teams, notably with the women winning their 2015 World Cup. The men, however, failed to even qualify for the 2018 competition in what was largely considered an embarrassment. Then-coach Bruce Arena resigned under pressure, and Berhalter is now tasked with not just building a team, but changing a culture.
"We want technical players," he said. "We want players [who] are brave, we want players [who] are mobile and can move around the field at a high speed. We want to play a game that fans are drawn to, that fans are excited about."