It is probably one of the worst kept secrets that I am a huge fan of the Apple TV+ show, Ted Lasso. In my opinion it was the best show of 2020, and I’m counting down the days until I get to see the second season. There are slight spoilers in here for those that haven’t seen the series. Though frankly, I’m disappointed in those who haven’t watched it yet.
Regardless, I got to thinking about which Ted Lasso character some of the people in the Orlando City community would be. I don’t want there to be any confusion in what I’m doing here. These comparisons come from a place of love, and in no way are the real people exactly like the characters I’m pairing them with. In fact, I think you’ll find it’s the best aspects of each that I find most applicable. Much like Ted finds in all those he encounters.
Óscar Pareja as Ted Lasso
I know what you’re thinking. Óscar Pareja is not an unqualified American who makes biscuits and loves Kansas City barbecue. Though to be fair, I can’t say for certain he doesn’t make biscuits and love KC barbecue. Of course, unlike Lasso, Pareja was a highly qualified soccer coach when he arrived. However, there are at least two ways in which these two are alike. Each coach came into a program in trouble, and within one season was able to to get the players to completely buy in, and change the entire culture of the club. Perhaps we should start calling it the Pareja Way.
Kay Rawlins as Rebecca Welton
We all love Kay. She is the beloved matriarch of our Orlando City family. I know that Rebecca starts off the show as the villain, but inside her heart, she is a wonderful person. We start to see that goodness shine through at the charity event in episode four. That should give a big clue as to how Rebecca and Kay are similar. They care so much about others that they host charity events, and ultimately through their love and humanity become the heroine of the story.
Duda Pavão as Keeley Jones
No, Duda is not famous for being a little bit famous, In fact, she is a former soccer player from my alma mater, Stetson University (Go, Hatters!). However, like Keeley, she is now a leading social influencer for the community. Who could forget Duda burning sage as the face of the Pride’s “stan” marketing during the NWSL Challenge Cup. Both of these ladies bring humor and heart to the community.
Nani as Roy Kent
He’s older. He’s won the Champions League. He instructs his younger teammates on the pitch during a match. So, am I referring to Roy Kent or to Nani? Yes, the character of Roy Kent was based on Roy Keane, but Keane and Nani both played for Manchester United, so I’ll consider that a “six degrees of Roy Kent” type of thing. Regardless, Nani is the sometimes irritable, but respected captain of his club. Just like the irritable, but respected Roy Kent. This was a bit of a no-brainer.
Ruan as Sam Obisanya
Let me say this from the start. Ruan is faster than the character of Sam Obisanya. However, they both play right back, and are brought into the attack by the new manager. I think Ruan is a more confident player than Sam, but I also think Ruan could take a page from Sam on being a goldfish. If you’ve seen the show, that will make complete sense, and if you haven’t, you have another reason to watch.
Pedro Gallese as Thierry Zoreaux
Ted Lasso can’t seem to pronounce Zoreaux’s name to save his life. Likewise, soccer commentators still haven’t all figured out how to pronounce Gallese. Both of these keepers make a ton of saves and put their clubs in a position to be able to get points. Ted said of Zoreaux, “That dude had more saves than a Baptist preacher.” I think there were many times this past season many of us felt the same about Gallese.
You’ll notice I left off more than a few potentially important characters, but I wanted to get some input from our readers. Now, despite not being an Orlando City assistant coach, I’m of a mind to claim Coach Beard for myself. However, I’ll allow other suggestions. Does Orlando City have an Isaac McAdoo, or a Dani Rojas? Then there is Jamie Tartt. Perhaps a former Lion that has left? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.