Denis Bouanga is rising to the challenge for defending MLS Cup champions Los Angeles FC this season with Saturday’s Man of the Match performance becoming the forward’s latest impressive day for the Western Conference club.
Bouanga registered a hat trick in LAFC’s 3-0 home win over Austin FC on Saturday, continuing his stellar run of form. The Gabon international has five goals scored in his last two appearances across all competitions, with LAFC picking up victories in Concacaf Champions League and MLS play.
Bouanga propelled LAFC in front before halftime at BMO Stadium, drilling a long-range shot into the bottom-right corner. After breaking the deadlock, Bouanga doubled his tally and LAFC’s lead in the 58th minute by roofing a shot past Brad Stuver into the top-right corner for a 2-0 advantage.
Bouanga completed his impressive Man of the Match performance in the 68th minute after rifling Sergi Palencia’s cross into the top-left corner with a cool finish. The 28-year-old also won six duels and finished with six shots in total as LAFC moved to third place on 14 points.
With LAFC leading the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0 on aggregate heading into this week’s CCL second leg, Bouanga might get a well deserved rest after his stellar week.
Here are the other top moments in Week 7:
Team of the Week
The Seattle Sounders extended their winning run to three matches on Saturday after a 3-0 shutout win over St. Louis CITY SC.
Josh Atencio and Raul Ruidiaz scored five minutes apart in the second half before a Jake Nerwinski own goal padded the final score at 3-0 at Lumen Field. Stefan Frei registered a two-save clean sheet as the Sounders handed St. Louis its second-consecutive league defeat.
The Sounders have propelled themselves to first place in the Western Conference following Saturday’s victory, sitting one point clear of the 2023 expansion side.
LAFC, Houston Dynamo, and the Chicago Fire also earned important victories, finishing as Team of the Week nominees.
Goal of the Week
Josh Atencio played the hero for the Seattle Sounders in Saturday’s 3-0 win over St. Louis CITY SC with his first-career MLS goal coming in style at Lumen Field.
Atencio was teed up by Nicolas Lodeiro in the 65th minute before the 21-year-old sent a blistering right-footed shot into the top-right corner. The defensive midfielder hasn’t been known for his shooting abilities in the Sounders squad, but delivered one of the MLS Goal of the Season nominees in a shutout victory.
Young Player of the Week
FC Dallas picked up an important three points against Inter Miami on Saturday with 20-year-old Alan Velasco impressing once again in the final third.
Velasco delivered a lively 90-minute performance as FC Dallas defeated the Herons 1-0 at DRV PNK Stadium. Velasco completed the most dribbles (4), completed the most tackles (3), and won the most duels (10/19) out of any player in the match.
He also registered two shots on goal and easily could’ve walked away with a goal contribution in the match. Velasco has two goals in seven appearances this season as FC Dallas sits fourth in the Western Conference.