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Ted Lasso Season 3: Discouraged players revitalized by team love

JASON Sudeikis in a scene from Ted Lasso.

LOS ANGELES — Season three of the Emmy-winning Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso kicks off on a sour note as pundits expect the folksy American coach’s AFC Richmond soccer team to end last in England’s Premiere League and face relegation. Even with those headwinds, the eternally upbeat Coach Lasso played by Jason Sudeikis has infused his team with family-like love to get through the tough times in the season that premiered on Wednesday.

“At the start of the season, they’re coming into the Premier League and a lot of people aren’t expecting them to do very well,” said Toheeb Jimoh, the actor who portrays player Sam Obisanya. “They’re dealing with a lot of outside noise.”

Despite doubters, Ted’s team upholds what Mr. Jimoh calls the “Lasso way” this season, which includes having compassion for each other and never losing faith.

Mr. Sudeikis, who created the series with Coach Beard actor Brendan Hunt and TV producers Bill Lawrence and Joe Kelly, continues to express Ted’s vulnerability as he manages anxiety and the sadness that comes with being away from his son.

“As much as the world tries to tell us we’re different, you know, men, women, left, right, Black, white, etcetera, there is a great deal of overlap in all of our dealings as human beings that we all face and feel,” Mr. Sudeikis said.

It has rubbed off on captain-turned-assistant coach Roy Kent, portrayed by Brett Goldstein, who refers to AFC Richmond as a family and explained that each teammate has a role in their family.

“He loves these people,” Mr. Goldstein said, referring to Roy.

AFC Richmond owner Rebecca Welton, played by Hannah Waddingham, also embraces the warm, fuzzy team feeling.

“She wants her boys to win. She wants Ted to win. She wants Ted to be recognized for the extraordinary force that he is,” said Ms. Waddingham.

There is an antagonist, however. Nathan Shelley, the equipment man-turned-assistant coach played by Nick Mohammed, has gone to coach an opposing team and talks trash about Lasso.

Speculation is rife that the show may end after this season, although nothing official has been announced by Apple TV+.

If it was the last season, Mr. Jimoh feels as if the goals of the show have already been realized.

“Ted came in with a mission and, regardless of the wins and losses, (it) was to make these players the best versions of themselves on and off the pitch,” he said. “I think he’s getting to a point where he’s done that.” — Reuters

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