ST. LOUIS – The World Cup kicks off this weekend in Qatar, as 32 international teams compete to be crowned the best in the world. The United States Men’s National Team arrived in the host nation on Monday to prepare for its group-stage matches against Wales, England, and Iran.

Along the way, the team has received encouragement from across America. This past Sunday, billboards went up in each of the player’s hometowns, personalized notes from an unexpected source: that font of inspiration, fictitious soccer coach Ted Lasso.

Lasso, played by Jason Sudeikis in the eponymous Apple TV+ series, offers earnest quips for each player on a royal blue, Comic Sans-type font on a maize or mustard yellow background.

Ted Lasso billboard in St. Louis

One billboard at Kingshighway and Devonshire offers the following words of encouragement for center-back Tim Ream, who, at 35, is the oldest member of the roster:

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’all’s 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

Coach Lasso’s inspiring words for 22-year-old O’Fallon native Josh Sargent can be seen along Interstate-70 at Highway K:

Josh,

Being from the great town of O’Fallon, you must have been an O’natural for you to pursue soccer officially. You looked destiny in the O’lfactory bulb and said ‘O’kay, I’m gonna make my soccer dreams my main O’bjective.’ And boy O’boy, you sure did. You’re about to O’ccupy the world’s biggest pitch with the USMNT and O’btain some wins.

While everyone in O’Fallon and I are just gonna be O’verjoyed to see you have a good O’l time out there and O’bliterate the competition.

O’ver the moon with excitement,

Ted O’Lasso