(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: One of the most electrifying players in the 2023 Major League Soccer (MLS) regular season, was Dénis Bouanga, who wears the now famous #99 on his best-selling LAFC jersey. He set the bar high enough to closely earn one of the most-coveted and significant honors of becoming the Golden Boot Award winner with a grand total of 20 for this season. He now sets his sights even higher on adding even more goals and of course, playoff victories, as he will lead his teammates into the defense of their MLS Cup Championship, earned during the 2022 season.
Here is the press announcement prepared and distributed by the Club’s Communications Staff that contains all of the details connected with Bouanga’s thrilling, exciting, captivating, and outstanding match performances during his incredible MLS and LAFC season.
Los Angeles Football Club’s Dénis Bouanga Wins
2023 MLS Golden Boot Presented by Audi
Bouanga becomes the third different LAFC player to earn the league’s scoring title in the past five seasons
In conjunction with Major League Soccer, Los Angeles Football Club announced that forward Dénis Bouanga claimed the 2023 MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi after scoring a league-high 20 goals in a race that came down to the final day of the MLS regular season – Decision Day 2023. Bouanga finished ahead of FC Cincinnati’s Luciano Acosta (17 goals) and Atlanta United’s Giorgos Giakoumakis (17 goals) to earn the honor.
The first Gabonese player to earn the honor, Bouanga closed the season on a tear by scoring six goals across his final three matches, including a hat trick against Minnesota United FC on October 4. Bouanga scored goals in bunches during the 2023 season, 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.
With his 20 goals, Bouanga produced the second-most goals in a single season in LAFC history, behind only Carlos Vela’s 34 in 2019. 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. LAFC looks to become the fourth team in league history to win consecutive MLS Cups and the first since the LA Galaxy in 2011-12.
Bouanga is the third different LAFC player to win the award in the last five seasons, joining Diego Rossi in 2020 and Carlos Vela in 2019. LAFC is the second club to earn the honor three times in a five-season span (New England Revolution; 2002, 2004-05), and the first club to do so with three different players. Bouanga is the second African player to win the Golden Boot presented by Audi, alongside Mamadou Diallo (Senegal) for the Tampa Bay Mutiny in 2000. Since 2011, 12 different nationalities have been represented across the last 13 MLS Golden Boots presented by Audi winners.
Through his prolific goal-scoring efforts, Bouanga has raised a total of $29,000 for MLS academies through the ‘Audi Goals Drive Progress’ program, a multi-year initiative launched by Audi and dedicated to expanding the breadth of academy resources through contributions toward player education, housing, and transportation. To ensure that young players are supported as they endeavor to maintain excellence on the pitch and in the classroom, the funds raised by Bouanga include $200 per goal scored during the 2023 MLS regular season to be distributed to all MLS academies, and an additional $25,000 contribution to the LAFC academy for winning the Golden Boot presented by Audi.
“Audi is proud to support MLS and its journey to showcase the next generation of soccer talent,” said Adam Perez, Brand Partnerships & Experience Senior Specialist, at Audi of America. “We’re pleased to congratulate Dénis Bouanga on his Golden Boot win and look forward to our continued commitment to the growth of soccer in the U.S. as well as driving individual progress both on and off the pitch through our ‘Audi Goals Drive Progress’ program.”