LAFC signs reigning Golden Boot winner Denis Bouanga to a contract extension

LAFC forward Denis Bouanga controls the ball during a match against the Galaxy in October 2022.
LAFC forward Denis Bouanga controls the ball during a match against the Galaxy in October 2022. Bouanga scored an MLS-leading 20 goals last season.
(Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

LAFC signed prolific goal-scorer Denis Bouanga to a two-year contract extension through the 2027 season, the team announced Friday.

The deal includes a team option for 2028 and allows LAFC to move forward with the centerpiece of its attack secured for at least four seasons.

The 29-year-old Bouanga won the Golden Boot as Major League Soccer’s top scorer in 2023, tallying 20 goals in the regular season while earning an MLS All-Star berth and being named an MVP finalist. The speedy, accurate striker was also the top goal-scorer in the CONCACAF Champions League, and he led all MLS players with 38 goals across all competitions while LAFC reached its second straight MLS Cup Final.


Even without Carlos Vela under contract for the first time in franchise history, MLS Cup finalist LAFC opens the season with a 2-1 victory over Seattle.

Feb. 24, 2024

“Denis has made an incredible impact on LAFC and our league over the last two seasons and has been critical to our success,” LAFC general manager John Thorrington said. “We are excited to see one of the best players in the league make this long-term commitment to LAFC and continue our commitment to winning championships in Los Angeles.”

The French-born Bouanga plays internationally for Gabon. LAFC acquired him from Saint-Étienne in August 2022.

He scored just one goal in seven games late in that season, but that goal was a game-winner in stoppage time at Portland to clinch the Supporters’ Shield for his new club.

Bouanga then emerged as one of best offensive players in the MLS while leading LAFC to its first league championship in 2022. He has also taken over as LAFC’s offensive talisman from Carlos Vela, the Mexican star and former MLS MVP.

The 35-year-old Vela remains unsigned this season, but LAFC has said it still hopes to bring back the first player in franchise history.