14 November 2022

Ted Lasso sends USA squad off to the World Cup with some words of wisdom

14 November 2022

Fulham defender Tim Ream and Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner are among the USA’s World Cup-bound squad members to receive well-wishes from fictional TV football coach Ted Lasso.

Giant yellow banners began to appear in the home towns of the players in Gregg Berhalter’s 26-man squad this week, each with a personalised message from Jason Sudeikis’ popular character as they set off for Qatar.

Ted Lasso follows its eponymous protagonist, a former gridiron coach, as he takes over as coach of English football club AFC Richmond, despite having no experience in the game.

Ream’s message, placed on a billboard in St Louis, Missouri, reads: “Tim, word at the fair is the lights aren’t shining any place but St Louis, so if you could mail me one of y’alls lightbulbs, I’d love to check that out.

“You know what other shiny thing I can’t wait to see? You playin’ in the big games. There should be a warning before the tournaments to load up on SPF and sunglasses to protect everyone from the Tim Ream beam, I know I’ll be doubling up on my visors.

“Your tootsie wootsie, Ted Lasso.”

The AFC Richmond boss’s message to Arsenal shot-stopper Turner was hung up outside his alma mater, Saint Joseph Regional High School in Bergen County, New Jersey.

Part of it read: “Sometimes the goal you’re training for turns into the train you’re goaling for, you know? Choo-choo! Next stop: the games of all games! We’re takin’ that track all the way to victory.”

Ream’s Fulham team-mate Antonee Robinson, Leeds midfield duo Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams and Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic also feature in a youthful US squad, the second-youngest in the country’s history with an average age of 25 years, 175 days.

Right-back DeAndre Yedlin is the only player included to have previously played at a World Cup, having featured in three matches in Brazil in 2014.

Berhalter’s biggest competition in Group B will be Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions, with Wales and Iran also vying to make it to the round of 16.

The USA begin their campaign against Wales on November 21.

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