Ted Lasso Just Figured Out How to Save Richmond’s Season

The titular American coach in Apple TV’s Ted Lasso has taken his teams to exciting heights with his charm and positive attitude. When it comes to the game of soccer, however, he has no clue what’s going on. Despite coaching at the highest level of the sport, Ted has never quite understood how soccer (football) works, instead simply providing the inspiration while leaning on his assistant coaches to help with the game itself. He’s been slowly getting the hang of things over the course of the show’s three seasons, but his first real breakthrough might be what saves Richmond’s entire campaign.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from the latest episode of Ted Lasso Season 3! Continue reading at your own risk…

Richmond has been in a massive slump since losing to Nate’s West Ham United, and Zava suddenly retiring only made matters worse. To try and get the team out of their funk, Ted gives the team a night off with no curfew after playing a friendly in Amsterdam. With Beard out on his own and Rebecca unable to be reached, Ted goes off on his own and has something of an epiphany about the game of football.

Ted ends up in an American-style restaurant watching a replay of an old Chicago Bulls game when he starts having a vision, which he believes is brought on by psychedelic drugs (turns out, they were duds). He thinks through the Triangle Offense that Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, and the Bulls used to win championships and it unlocks his understanding of football.

The idea behind the Triangle is that players are constantly moving, taking each others spots and always creating at least two available passing options. It makes the game positionless and opens up more opportunities, allowing players to have a feel for one another rather than sticking to a rigid strategy or playbook. Freedom makes them better at the game.

The free night in Amsterdam helps everyone on the team grow in one way or another, mirroring the concept of the Triangle Offense itself. Ted takes a ton of notes and creates an entire system out of the idea and presents it to Beard on the bus back home, only to be informed that it’s actually an existing strategy that was created in Amsterdam decades earlier. Nevertheless, Beard agrees with Ted that it’s a good idea to try with their players.

The belief they have in one another is what has brought the players at Richmond success thus far, as Ted indicated in his passionate, episode-ending speech last week. Now, that belief will be directly translated to how Richmond plays on the pitch, and it could turn their whole season around.