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How can LAFC deal with the controversies of the past week?

Like it or not, recent events could impact team performance on the field.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal-Los Angeles FC vs Portland Timbers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Events stemming from Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup win could have the potential for making a negative impact on Los Angeles Football Club on the field.

First, and foremost, Adame Diomande posted on Instagram that he was called a racial slur sometime around the U.S. Open Cup game with Portland.

He didn’t name the person responsible outright, but the claim is pretty serious. So much so that Portland Timbers’ management responded that they are looking into the matter and waiting for more information.

Regardless of what you think, this kind of behavior is never acceptable under any circumstances. We can only hope that, if the accusation is true (and there is little reason to suggest it isn’t) and the player is identified, there is proper punishment.

But, what kind of effect should it have on the team on the field? I think a lot.

For LAFC, the best place to do this is on the field.

Not in a way that is negative toward the team, i.e. targeting or the like, but in a way that is more of a rallying cry. Regardless of the status of the player on the team, you kind of circle the wagons, if you will.

I can see LAFC developing an “us versus the world” kind of mentality over this.

MLS: U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal-Los Angeles FC vs Portland Timbers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The second potential distraction is the protest levied by Portland over LAFC’s use of international players during the Cup game.

Portland lodged a complaint with U.S. Soccer that LAFC used too many international players in its game Wednesday.

In response, the USSF, who run the Open Cup, elected to postpone its draw for the semifinals so it could investigate the claim and make a determination as to what should be done next.

There are a lot of potentials here. If the Black-and-Gold are found to be in violation of the rules, the game could be forfeit by LAFC, thus sending the Timbers into the semifinals, or the result could be thrown out and the game replayed. Of course, if the claim doesn’t hold, LAFC will move on into the semifinals.

No matter what the outcome, this has generated a ton of attention and players, as well as members of the coaching staff have been riddled with questions about the claim. This does nothing but serve as a distraction off the field for everyone involved.

That means it has a strong potential of being a distraction on the field as well.

Now, these guys are professionals to be sure, but it is tough to not let these distractions have some kind of an impact on performance. They are only human after all.

But, the team has to rally together here. No matter what the outcome, the stories are out there and they can’t be taken back.

Of course, the situation becomes a little more complicated if the worst-case scenario plays out and LAFC is stripped of its quarterfinal win. But, the team can’t really worry about that instance right now … or ever if truth be told.

The decision over what will happen regarding Wednesday’s game — concerning both Diomande’s claim and the international player discussion — are out of the hands of just about anyone taking the field.

But, at the end of the day, the question still remains over whether these things will serve as a negative distraction of the team.

The short answer is that time will tell.

But, we certainly hope LAFC will take these controversies, rally as a team and put it behind them. There are enough seasoned veterans on this squad to do just that.

What do you think? Post your comment below!