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LAFC signs forward Denis Bouanga from France’s Saint-Étienne

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Forward Denis Bouanga signed with Los Angeles FC on Friday as the Major League Soccer-leading club’s third designated player.

Bouanga is leaving Saint-Étienne of France’s second division to join LAFC, the club announced without disclosing contract terms. He will join the club after the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate.

Bouanga recorded 26 goals and 13 assists in Ligue 1 over the past three seasons with Saint-Étienne, which was relegated last spring. He appeared in one game for the club in Ligue 2 on July 30 before finalizing his departure.

He has spent his entire professional career in France, suiting up for several clubs and excelling in a press while playing as both a wing and a striker. He scored eight goals for Nîmes in the 2018-19 season.

The 27-year-old Bouanga is a native of France who plays for Gabon’s national team, recording seven goals and four assists in 32 appearances.

Bouanga’s arrival completes an impressive summer transfer window for LAFC, which also added European stars Giorgio Chiellini and Gareth Bale. LAFC cleared room for Bouanga in its attack by trading Danny Musovski to Real Salt Lake and moving Ismael Tajouri-Shradi to New England.

Bouanga joins Carlos Vela and Brian Rodriguez as the club’s three designated players, who can be signed and paid outside of regular salary cap constraints. Bouanga joins a crowded LAFC front line featuring Vela, Rodriguez, Bale, leading goal-scorer Cristian Arango and promising 21-year-old Kwadwo Opoku vying for playing time at three forward spots.

LAFC (15-4-3) has won four straight and six of seven heading into a road match against Salt Lake on Saturday night.


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