They made it dramatic in more ways than one, but on Sunday, LAFC added to their trophy cabinet, by winning the 2022 MLS Supporters’ Shield.
Denis Bouanga’s debut goal in MLS, deep in 2nd half stoppage time, clinched the Supporters’ Shield, which is awarded to the MLS regular season champion. After the Philadelphia Union shockingly lost 4-0 on Saturday at Charlotte FC, that opened the door for LAFC to win the Shield with a week to spare, as they only needed to beat the Portland Timbers — at Providence Park — in the process.
That wasn’t an easy task, as Carlos Vela hit a trademark golazo early in the 2nd half to give LAFC the lead, but it looked like it may not have been meant to be on the day as the Timbers tied up the game in the dying minutes courtesy of Dairon Asprilla.
And then Bouanga, LAFC’s newest Designated Player and a player who has gotten regular playing time since joining the black-and-gold but had yet to score, slalomed through the Portland defense and hit the crucial goal, which became the title clincher.
DENIS BOUANGA FIRST MLS GOAL TO (POSSIBLY) CLINCH THE SUPPORTERS' SHIELD pic.twitter.com/W4zP8ye2F8— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 2, 2022
The Supporters’ Shield is LAFC’s second in their history, joining the one they won in 2019. It’s a worthy accomplishment for a terrific MLS season with Steve Cherundolo at the helm, and it’s not over yet: After the Decision Day finale next week at home against Nashville SC, LAFC have the playoffs — and the quest for MLS Cup — ahead. There’s plenty of work left to do.
But congratulations to LAFC! It’s a legendary day for the club.
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