I have a new column up on project management.com. It's called Debugging Your Geographically Distributed Agile Team. (You have to register to read it. Registration is free.)
You can do agile with geographically distributed teams. You might not be able to do Scrum. You have other choices of approaches.
Helping a team form is tough. This article, which is true, shows how tough it can be.
Do you have similar experiences? Different experiences? Let me know. I'd love to hear from you.