LAFC vs Vancouver Whitecaps – October 21, 2023
In a 1-1 draw for the regular season finale, the LAFC dropped to third place in the Western Conference while the Seattle Sounders finished in second after defeating the St. Louis CITY. Securing the 2023 MLS Golden Boot, Dénis Bouanga recorded his 20th goal of the season.
Bouanga’s goal came in the 34th minute of the match as he was surrounded by four Whitecaps defenders. Dribbling through, DB took a left footed strike from the center arc of the penalty box. Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka took a dive and nearly made a save but the ball drove past his left and into the back of the net. The assist was credited to Ilie Sánchez.
The Whitecaps would then equalize the match in the 58th minute of the second half when Ali Ahmend followed up teammate Richie Laryea’s cross with a shot past LAFC goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau and towards the far corner of the net. Just moments later, Crépeau made a clutch save when deflecting a header from Whitecaps forward Brian White, keeping the game equalized.
This was Crépeau’s seventh start for LAFC since returning to the team from a broken leg suffered from last season’s MLS Cup. Bouanga completed his first ever full MLS season and will go down as one of the best in Black and Gold history.
LAFC will play the sixth seeded Whitecaps in the opening round of the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs after finishing third in the Western Conference with the tie (14-10-10, 52 points).