In conjunction with Major League Soccer, Los Angeles Football Club announced that forward Dénis Bouanga was voted the Major League Soccer Player of the Month presented by CELSIUS® for October 2023.
Bouanga is the first LAFC player to capture Player of the Month presented by CELSIUS honors since Carlos Vela in September 2019, which also punctuated the latter’s Golden Boot-winning campaign. The 28-year-old striker is the third different LAFC player to win the award, joining Vela (March, April, and September 2019) and Adama Diomande (June 2018). He is the first Gabonese player to take home Player of the Month honors in the award's history.
En route to winning the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi with an MLS-best 20 goals this season, Bouanga led the league in goals (six) and goal contributions (seven) in the month of October, despite playing in just three games. Bouanga scored in all three games, including a hat trick on October 4 against Minnesota United FC (Watch Here), which helped him earn MLS Player of the Matchday presented by Continental Tire honors for Matchday 36. His six goals were tied for the second-most by a Golden Boot winner in his final three matches of a season, trailing only Alex Pineda Chacón, who scored seven in his final three matches for the Miami Fusion in 2001.
With his 20 goals this season, Bouanga produced the second-most goals in a single season in LAFC history, behind only Carlos Vela’s 34 in 2019. The dynamic striker scored goals in bulk throughout 2023, producing a league-high five multi-goal games, which included two hat tricks. Only the Columbus Crew’s Cucho Hernández and Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar joined Bouanga with multiple hat tricks in 2023.
The forward’s goal-scoring prowess helped LAFC finish third in the Western Conference and earn a berth in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs, as the club looks to become the fourth team in league history to win consecutive MLS Cups, and the first since the LA Galaxy in 2011-12. LAFC will begin their title defense against the No. 6 seed Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, October 28 at BMO Stadium (8 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass) in Game 1 of the Round One Best-of-3 Series.
MLS Player of the Month presented by CELSIUS is voted upon by a panel of select national media members in a process conducted by MLS Communications.