Bouanga! LAFC take down Seattle Sounders in Western Conference Semifinal

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In a clash of Western Conference juggernauts, LAFC earned a 1-0 victory at Seattle Sounders FC to reach the Western Conference Final and keep their MLS Cup title defense hopes alive.

The Black & Gold, after Sunday's Western Conference Semifinal triumph, will host Houston Dynamo FC next Saturday (9:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass) for the chance to reach the Dec. 9 championship match. Then, that game's winner is guaranteed to visit either FC Cincinnati or Columbus Crew after the Eastern Conference finalists finished higher in the regular-season table.

Dénis Bouanga, this year's MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi winner, capped the visitors' lethal counter-attack in the 30th minute at Lumen Field. Cristian Olivera dummied Timothy Tillman's progressive pass, then the Gabon international stormed into space and rifled past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

Seattle were held scoreless, largely because of Maxime Crépeau's jaw-dropping performance. The Canadian international goalkeeper finished with seven saves, highlighted by denying Jordan Morris' breakaway attempt (4') and João Paulo's long-range blast (81').


  • 30' - LAFC - Dénis Bouanga | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The last MLS Cup repeat winner was the LA Galaxy in 2011-12. LAFC are still in that hunt and now head coach Steve Cherundolo's team returns to BMO Stadium, two games away from lifting the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy. Seattle experienced heartbreak, seeing their 19-game playoff home unbeaten run end. Big questions loom over the future of stars Raúl Ruidíaz and Nicolás Lodeiro in Rave Green; both DPs entered as second-half substitutes, but couldn't conjure up an equalizer.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Best of luck to any defender trying to stop Bouanga, especially when he's running downfield. The Gabon international now has 37 goals across all competitions for LAFC in 2023.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Crépeau stood on his head against Seattle. He's just a year removed from breaking his leg in MLS Cup 2022, denying him a World Cup spot.

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