LAFC signs MLS Golden Boot winner Bouanga to new contract

LAFC has signed prolific goalscorer Dénis Bouanga to a two-year contract extension through the 2027 season.

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

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The 29-year-old Bouanga won the Golden Boot as Major League Soccer’s top scorer in 2023, getting 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.

Bouanga had been linked with a move to Europe during the offseason after the former Saint-Étienne forward suggested he was keen on a return to France.

“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. He joined LAFC 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. He then added two more in the playoffs to help LAFC to its first league championship

Bouanga than emerged as one of best offensive players in the MLS last season. 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.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.