Bouanga Steals The Show At MLS All-Star Skills Challenge


LAFC forward Dénis Bouanga thrilled the crowd on Tuesday, providing the MLS All-Stars with their only victory across five events in the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge at Audi Field in Washington, DC. The 28-year-old scored an event-best 95 points in the Cross & Volley Challenge presented by AT&T 5G, rifling an array of right-footed volleys past goalkeeper Alex Rúnarsson of Arsenal and prompting Apple TV MLS Season Pass broadcaster Taylor Twellman to bellow, “Take a bow, Bouanga!”


The performance marked another moment in the rise of the French-born Bouanga, who signed with LAFC in the summer of 2022, scored the goal that won the MLS Supporters Shield trophy for the Black &Gold, then tallied two playoff goals in helping LAFC win its first MLS Cup championship. This season Bouanga was chosen as an MLS All-Star after registering 18 goals and seven assists in 24 appearances across all competitions for LAFC.

Bouanga also had a strong showing in Tuesday’s Crossbar Challenge, but it was the Cross & Volley Challenge where he stole the show, at one point belting four straight long crossing passes into goal, including an acrobatic scissor kick. Afterward, Bouanga said, “I really loved it. This is something you do for the fans. It was really cool for them to see players from Arsenal compete against MLS in these events.”

Bouanga and LAFC teammate and fellow All-Star Ryan Hollingshead will face off against Arsenal again on Wednesday night in the MLS All-Star Game, which will air live at 5:30 on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

LAFC will return to action in early August when it plays an opponent to be determined in the Leagues Cup tournament.

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