The most famous American soccer/football manager is fictional.
That puts American coaches in a somewhat difficult spot, because they’re probably going to have to answer Ted Lasso-related questions until the end of time. One person who has a pretty good perspective on the situation: the actor behind the fictional manager.
In a Sky Sports interview, Jason Sudeikis addressed the possible stigma, which has been cited by Jesse Marsh (among others) as an unfortunate side effect of the show’s ubiquity.
"I haven't had the opportunity to apologise or explain myself to Jesse Marsch…" ?
Gary Neville and Jason Sudeikis on whether Ted Lasso has put pressure on American coaches that come to the Premier League…⬇️ pic.twitter.com/zpLONIGjWl
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 27, 2023
In an interview with Gary Neville on Sky Sports, Sudeikis said he hasn’t had the chance to speak to Marsch, but brushed aside any concerns that the show could be unfairly stigmatizing American coaches in Europe.
“That’s not the intention at all and I haven’t had the opportunity to apologize or explain myself yet with Jesse Marsch,” Sudeikis said.
“I think it’s a little lazy of anybody to correlate the two, but that’s never our intention to make things more difficult. But I do know that ultimately, if American coaches came into this league and won a whole bunch of games, that would probably go away.”
So, there you have it! Win more games!
Sudeikis, of course, isn’t wrong. Marsch also wasn’t exactly that critical of the show, he was just trying to avoid the comparison during his opening press conference (despite the fact that Marsch does, in fact, share some personality and coaching-style overlap with the Lasso character.
The American manager even addressed the fictional American manager, noting that everything is good:
— Jesse Marsch (@jessemarsch) April 28, 2023
There has often been a bit of a stigma that works against American players and coaches attempting to ply their trade in the top leagues in the world. But Sudeikis isn’t wrong; Marsch landed his job at Leeds and kept it after winning games, and would have still been in charge if he’d continued winning. (Of course, the losing wasn’t exactly his fault. It’s tough to win Premier League games when you’re in charge of a club without the resources of top teams.)
Hopefully Marsch gets another shot at a club that fits him, and more Americans can end up with a shot in Europe either despite (maybe because of!) the Ted Lasso effect.