Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chaos in Commerce City?

Yesterday there were reports from the Denver Post and that the players and coaches got into a shouting math after practice last Thursday, with Conor Casey stomping off the practice field challenging Gary Smith to trade him and Pat Noonan leading the players in refusing extra "punishment" laps. Obviously this isn't what you want to see from a team that collapsed in the final quarter of the season. We've already seen Gary Smith throw the players under the bus after the final match, but now he's trying to claim that that's an outside viewpoint and doesn't come from any actual feelings at the club.

This is the biggest challenge that Gary Smith has faced as Rapids coach. As Bonji put it on BigSoccer, the way he handles it will probably define his time as Rapids coach. If he can get the team back together, regain the support of the players, and move forward the team can improve from their disastrous finishes the last two years and look towards the playoffs next year. If he can't regain the respect of the locker room he'll be lucky to make it through the season next year, and we can expect no better from the Rapids than we've see the last few years until a new coach rebuilds this team yet again.

Its time to see what Gary Smith (and to some extent Paul Bravo) can do when facing a schism in the locker room.

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