Every Street United wanted to bring street football to a worldwide audience, choosing to launch itself as an Xbox Originals TV show, with full viewer interaction around the time of the World Cup in Brazil. Throw a couple of world class, well known footballers into the mix too and surely you’re onto a winner?
Not quite! But where did it go wrong?
As a football fanatic, along with the fact I’d spent many hours in the past playing the popular FIFA Street game series I expected to adore this show, which from the outset appeared to target people like me. Of course my knowledge of street football rules across the major countries was limited and this is where the series just about kept my attention after the initial episode. Despite showing very little action it offered an insight into the different football cultures, explaining how most youngsters honed their skills.
Anyone who did stick around after the introductions of the candidates taking part in the competition would be severely disappointed. Not only did they try too hard to force a connection between the street players and the audience, there was also a severe lack of the two coaches; Edgar Davids and Thierry Henry. My idea of entertainment doesn’t entail spending nearly half a series of episodes just listening to the various players from around the world discuss their back stories. Nor does it entail seeing awkward moments as they tell their friends or families they are the chosen ones…..it wasn’t natural and any self respecting viewer would have given up here.
Credit where it’s due, during the final few episodes it picked up a little because we actually got to see coaching from the coaches and a match or two taking place. If only they’d realised sooner that it was supposed to be about the art of football then they may have pulled off a decent show, but you can’t go nearly a whole series without much action. Basic fundamentals were finally present, but by this point it was probably too late for most viewers who’d given it a few chances to improve.
The aim of Every Street United was to find eight players to fit into two teams, each coached by one of the football legends. After a match between the two on a tough street court in Brazil, with the winning team getting a trial at an MLS team. A great stepping stone for these young hotshots to make the transition from the streets to the green grass of a football pitch. How did the trials go? Looks like we’ll not find out as the series ended without a glimpse or hint at the winners’ next step.
It could’ve been great, but sadly it wasn’t a series to remember and that is largely to do with the mid-season episodes. Viewers were meant to feel a part of Every Street United; however the interactive features in the ESU app left a lot to be desired though. A couple of fan polls to vote on and a hunt for items in a point and click type game didn’t interest me whatsoever. It seemed like very little thought went into what might actually be fun.
What began as an educational journey went horribly off course making Every Street United a remedy for getting off to sleep. Every Street United hopefully won’t set a trend for any more Xbox Originals that make it onto our consoles.