July 14, 2024

LAFC’s journey in 2024 hasn’t been without its challenges. However, when the team has needed a hero, Denis Bouanga, their brightest attacking talent, has consistently risen to the occasion.

Golden Boot winner Denis Bouanga to quit MLS? LAFC's talisman says  'objective' is to return Europe or France this offseason | Goal.com English  Saudi Arabia

Bouanga once again played the role of the Black & Gold’s savior in stoppage time, securing a 3-2 victory against the Portland Timbers with a crucial goal in the 92nd minute at BMO Stadium. Despite surrendering a two-goal advantage in the second half, LAFC managed to emerge victorious.

In his post-match comments through a translator, Bouanga expressed his strong aversion to losing and his deep desire for victory. His passion for winning is evident in his commitment to scoring late goals and his enjoyment of the fans’ support.

The Gabon international, who was the runner-up for last year’s Landon Donovan MLS MVP award and won the Golden Boot presented by Audi, has now scored six goals in his last six matches. His recent heroics include a dramatic 95th-minute equalizer against the New York Red Bulls, securing a 2-2 draw in the previous weekend’s fixture.

Despite Bouanga’s impressive form, head coach Steve Cherundolo believes there is still room for improvement. While acknowledging Bouanga’s effectiveness in the final third, Cherundolo emphasizes the need for consistency in decision-making throughout the game, particularly in adhering to the team’s game plan.

Cherundolo stresses the importance of simplicity, repetition, and predictability in LAFC’s approach, particularly in the build-up to scoring opportunities. He believes that refining Bouanga’s decision-making will not only benefit the team but also enhance Bouanga’s own performance and contribution to the group’s success.

Despite the challenges, Bouanga continues to deliver crucial goals when it matters most. In Matchday 11, this meant securing all three points for LAFC after Portland was reduced to 10 men following Diego Chara’s red card in the 76th minute, which opened up the match.

Looking ahead, Bouanga acknowledges the importance of securing results earlier in matches. While he values his ability to influence games late on, he also recognizes the significance of making decisive contributions earlier in the game to benefit his team.

“I understand that a game can go all the way to the final whistle, even beyond 90 minutes,” Bouanga remarked. “So being able to make an impact for my team, whether through an assist or a goal, is always gratifying. However, if we can make crucial decisions much earlier in the game, that would be even better.”

LAFC star Denis Bouanga claims MLS Golden Boot as club prepares for title  defense | Goal.com Nigeria

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