LAFC vs Seattle Sounders – November 26, 2023
On paper, it almost seemed as if the LAFC vs Seattle Sounders Western Conference Semifinals matchup was déjà vu of the previous Whitecaps game. LAFC forward and 2023 MLS Golden Boot winner Dénis Bouanga once again scored the only goal of the match, and now has 37 goals across all competitions this year.
Bouanga’s score came 30 minutes into the match as he rushed by two Sounders defenders and right towards goalkeeper Stefan Frei with a right footed shot to the far post to put LAFC in the lead 1-0. It was a much needed score as Seattle seemed to have put out a strong defensive outing early on.
Although the MLS Golden Boot winner Bouanga would easily take the limelight as offense always does, it was LAFC’s defense and their goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau who dominated the other end of the field with seven saves, earning a back-to-back clean sheet game to hold onto the one goal lead.
Crepeau’s remarkable night began when he deflected a left-footed shot from Josh Atencio at the top of the penalty area. Another save came in the fourth minute when Jordan Morris outran Giorgio Chiellini on a breakaway, but Crepeau quickly defended Morris’ shot.
Crepeau would go on to block attempts from Sounders’ Albert Rusnak, Alex Roldan, and Joao Paulo to seal the deal, allowing LAFC to advance to the Western Conference Final. For the record, Crepeau is now 5-0-0 with three clean sheets across five of six LAFC postseason games.
On the topic of records, Bouanga can tie teammate Carlos Vela’s MLS single season record against the Houston Dynamo in the Western Conference Final on Saturday, December 2. More importantly, obviously, is the W. Fingers crossed.