Rapids Review, Galaxy Next In The Queue

Another well-rounded team win, highlighted by a trio of Mati Bogusz goals, precedes the biggest match of the year to this point

LAFC v Colorado Bogusz Palencia 062924

“I'm very happy,” Mateusz Bogusz said, kicking off his postgame remarks following the first hat trick of his professional career in Saturday night’s 3-0 win over Colorado. “It was a hard game because Colorado [has been] very good this season. I'm very happy for my hat trick, especially that I can do it at home, in front of the fans. What I can say more? Let's keep going.”

What more can he say, indeed.

The three goals the 22-year-old Bogusz put past the Rapids are merely the continuation of a sophomore season in which Bogusz has been asked to play all three forward positions in the Black & Gold’s 4-3-3 setup, in addition to his preferred attacking-midfield spot, and has responded by contributing to 17 goals (scoring 12 and assisting five) through 20 MLS games.

The Rapids are the most recent opponent who may have wished Bogusz had been called up by his home country, Poland, ahead of their appearance in UEFA Euro 2024. “We were happy to keep him during the Euros,” laughed LAFC goalkeeper Hugo Lloris as he removed his gloves following his eighth clean sheet of 2024. “Every game he is man of the match. How many goals?”

“Form is real,” said LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo. “Some players are in form, some are not. More importantly, the team is in form. And that is what we tend to look at as coaches. Because when the team is in form, that means individuals will always profit … and then moments like this with Mati and maybe sometimes with Denis and other players like Timmy at the beginning of the season, that's the end result.”

Defender Sergi Palencia called the matchup with dangerous Colorado, currently in fourth place in the West, a “tricky game … We remembered the match away against them [a 3-2 loss on March 30], and I think we solved it pretty good. We had our bad moments that we have to improve and to fix, but I think in general, the game was good … and Mati was amazing today.”


“Same every game,” reigning MLS Golden Boot winner Denis Bouanga said after the final whistle, commenting on the link between his 13 goals and nine assists in 2024, and Bogusz’s 12 and five. “Mati-Denis. Denis-Mati. Same every game.”

“I think it’s about understanding each other,” added Bogusz, whose first goal came due to a sublimely placed pass from Bouanga. “When Denis has the ball, I know what he’s going to do. So it doesn't matter, I just try following the game and I know I can score from any position.”

Palencia has known about Bogusz’s potential since the 2020 and 2021 seasons in La Liga 2, when Palencia’s Leganés team played the UD Logroñés and Ibiza sides Bogusz played for as a teenager.

“First time that I met him was in the second division in Spain,” said Palencia, who has started 16 straight matches for LAFC. “We played against each other. He was the left winger, and I was the right back. So we faced each other there, and even if it was not his ideal position, I could see he was a very talented guy.

“When he came here, I said, OK, we have a very cool player, a very versatile player here. And it takes time. I remember at the beginning [in 2023], he was trying to find his role here because we had Kellyn [Acosta], we had Ilie [Sánchez], Timmy [Tillman], Cifu [Jose Cifuentes], it was not easy. But he always worked hard at the trainings. He's one of the guys that really enjoys playing football— and he understands the game. That's why he can play in every position, in the midfield or [as a] forward ... He is also a great teammate. And we hope he continues his incredible run.”

Bogusz has recorded a goal or an assist in each game of LAFC’s current nine-game unbeaten streak in MLS play. The legendary Carlos Vela is the only other player in LAFC history to have contributed to goals in nine straight league games. The only MLS player to do it this season is reigning MLS MVP Luciano Acosta of FC Cincinnati.

Each of Bogusz’s goals on Saturday was immediately followed by attempts from forward Kei Kamara to polish Bogusz’s boot in celebration. Bogusz politely declined each effort from MLS’s second all-time leading scorer, who has 146 career goals to Bogusz’s 15. “I just told him, you know, I need to score a couple more goals and then I can make it,” Bogusz said. “I know what is my place. This [celebration] you can do for Leo Messi or the other players. I'm not there. Maybe if I score a couple more goals, then we can do.”


LAFC’s next match is not just an opportunity to extend its torrid form, but to do so against its top rival, the Galaxy (who are in second place in the Western Conference standings, having played one more game than LAFC and earned one fewer win), and in the same historic venue where the two teams set the MLS single-game attendance record, packing 82,110 fans into the Rose Bowl last July 4.

“It's exciting,” said Cherundolo. “It's great. I think over the past couple of years, the underdog role was clearly on the side of the Galaxy, and maybe not this year. Should be an energetic, exciting, high-quality football match, hopefully where the Black & Gold comes out on top. I'm really looking forward to it.”

The Galaxy (11W-3L-7D) are coming off a 3-0 win of their own in which Galaxy playmaker Riqui Puig returned to the field following a three-game absence due to injury, and contributed to his team’s second and third goals against San Jose.

“I can't wait for this game,” said Bogusz. “I already said in the dressing room, ‘Let's forget what was today. Just focus on Thursday.’ It’s a very big game and we need to go there and show up and win this game. It's very important. If we can win this game, we're going to be in amazing position for the rest of the season. You know, it's a derby. The game is always different. We know it’s going to be hard, but we'll be ready.”

Generally regarded as MLS’ most exciting rivalry—not just because of the proximity of the two teams but the competitiveness of the games—the LAFC-Galaxy series has resulted in nine wins for the Galaxy and eight for LAFC in 22 games across all competitions (plus five draws), with exactly 47 goals scored by each team.

The Black & Gold holds the edge in MLS play (8W-7L-5D), including two wins in the teams’ only two playoff matchups (in 2019 and 2022).

“The important thing [against the Rapids] was to get the three points and have the utmost confidence headed into El Trafico,” Palencia said, calling the rivalry by its nickname. “It is going to be spectacular, at the Rose Bowl, a neutral scenario. Let's hope that there will be the same people as last year, especially many of our fans there supporting.

“Trying to give them a victory is always special in a derby, but being where we are [in the standings] it is going to mean even more.”

LAFC returns to action on Thursday, July 4, when it takes on the Galaxy at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT. The game is available on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, 710 AM ESPN LA, and 980 AM La Mera Mera.

2025 Season Membership

2025 Season Membership

Secure tickets to see Giroud and LAFC for the 2025 season.

Place a deposit today!

Receive The Latest LAFC Developments

Receive The Latest LAFC Developments

Including special invitations and offers, Academy updates, and opportunities to get involved in the community.