The Los Angeles Football Club closed out the 2023 MLS regular season with a 1-1 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place. LAFC forward Dénis Bouanga scored LAFC’s goal in the 34th minute off a pass from Ilie Sánchez. It was Bounga’s league-leading 20th goal in MLS regular season action – earning him the MLS Golden Boot. He is the third player (Carlos Vela /2019, Diego Rossi/2020) in LAFC’s six-year history to win the Golden Boot.
Vancouver would equalize the match 1-1 after Ali Ahmend buried a shot past LAFC goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau following a cross delivered by Richie Laryea in the 58thminute. Four minutes later Maxime Crépeau made a goal-line save following a deflected header by Brian White.
In his first full season in Major League Soccer, Dénis Bouanga reigned supreme as the league’s top goal scorer with 20 goals on the season, earning him the 2023 Golden Boot. Bouanga scored 33 goals in all competitions in 2023, the third-highest total in MLS history. Bouanga becomes the first Gabonese international to be awarded the trophy. Bouanga’s goal tally is the second most in club history behind Carlos Vela’s record-setting 34 goals in 2019.
With the tie, LAFC finished third in the Western Conference (14-10-10, 52 points) and will face the sixth-seeded Whitecaps in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs. Game information is to be released at a later date.
NEWS & NOTES
- LAFC finishes the 2023 MLS Regular Season with a 14-10-10 record (52 points) good for third place in the Western Conference.
- Maxime Crépeau made his seventh start for the Black & Gold since returning to the first team on Sept. 16 after suffering a broken leg in the 2022 MLS Cup Final on Nov. 5, 2022. The start marked Crépeau’s 100th career MLS Regular Season appearance.
- Dénis Bouanga finished his first full season in MLS at the top of the goal-scoring leaderboard with 20 goals in the Regular Season, earning him the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi.