clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Let's Talk About Team Chemistry

Players shrugging off rumors of dissent in the locker room. Hopefully they're right and the team chemistry issues are nothing to worry about.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

One of the intangibles that media pundits will always talk about is team chemistry. Ever wonder why Jeff Cunningham played for six different teams when he was basically a franchise player? Why Clint Mathis bounced around 6 teams in 6 years after returning from Europe? The other factors of a teams chances for winning and losing such as talent, health, and coaching have bigger effects than team chemistry. The story of a champion always has some sort of adversity. Whether it's a locker room fight over a girl or playing time jealousy, (both of which I have seen in locker rooms), teams can let it destroy them or grow and make it a bonding moment. What MLS Colorado Rapids writer Chris Bianchi tweets might be nothing or disrupting the Rapids season negatively.

Anybody that has read the book, "The Jordan Rules" knows that juggling egos is a big part of professional coaches' headaches. Micheal Jordan had his own locker room! While I don't think anybody in the MLS could command that perk except for Thierry Henry it is tough when a teammate wants to exclude themselves from the team. Kobe Bryant is the only player suiting up in the Lakers locker room while his D-league team-mates get dressed in the hall. While we don't know the reason why the outburst happened after the game between Edson Buddle and Danny Mwanga, the public shouldn't and that's the way it has to be.

If I were to speculate I think it would have something to do with the lack of effort on Buddle's part. Buddle said before the season last year something to the effect of having great displeasure to report to Colorado. Just to be clear, I have no inside information about this, just a writer speaking his mind.

It might be the sign of an inexperienced head coach. Every time a coach gets hired he will want to bring his own people with him. The situation is different here. Pablo knows and was teammates with almost everyone on this team. Maybe it's difficult for the players to see him as a boss. Maybe this is why the Rapids had reserves about him as head coach.

The burden of this situation falls to the locker-rooms leadership to figure it out. An established veteran such as Edson Buddle will probably have more pull than the yet unproven Danny Mwanga. The MLS season is a marathon and not a sprint so hopefully the Rapids figure it out because I believe they have MLS Cup talent. A team's chemistry is very fragile. The value of a team's chemistry is immeasurable. Can both be broken to the point of no return? I believe so. I just hope we don't hear about any other stories like this from now on.