Dénis Bouanga has been voted in for the MLS Player of The Matchday 36
Announced today, MLS and LAFC have voted in forward Dénis Bouanga as MLS Player of the Matchday 36 presented by Continental Tire. DB recorded an outstanding hat trick in his club’s 5-1 victory over the Minnesota United FC on Wednesday.
Bouanga was able to score all three of his goals in the first half of the match. This made the French winger the very first player in LAFC history to record a hat trick in the first 45 minutes of an MLS regular season game. Following Minnesota’s first goal, LAFC equalized in the sixth minute thanks to a volley from Bouanga that struck past Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair.
The Gabonese international made it 2-1 in the 36th minute thanks to an assist by teammate Diego Palacios. During the first half stoppage time, Bouanga scored his third goal after dribbling past a Minnesota player, taking a shot from a close angle which bulleted to the back of the net.
With his MLS Player of the Matchday 36 performance, Bouanga is now in the lead for the MLS Golden Boot with 17 goals. He is the sixth player in 2023 to receive the honor after earning it twice this season. Along with Cristian Arango and Carlos Vela, Bouanga is now the third LAFC player to win the award several times in the same season.
Only Carlos Vela, who scored 34 goals during his MVP-winning season in 2019,has more goals in a single season than DB’s 17 this year. After the LA Galaxy in the 2011–12 MLS season, LAFC will try to become the fourth team in league history to win back-to-back MLS Cups by securing a spot in the postseason.
Even with the Player Of The Matchday 36 award, Dénis Bouanga will continue to finish the regular season in strong fashion as the Black and Gold work to earn home field advantage in the Round One Best-of-3 series on Saturday, October 7 against Austin FC.