Bogusz leads LAFC rout of Rapids


Mateusz Bogusz is starting to find his place at LAFC.

The Polish forward continued his breakout season on Saturday night at the expense of the Colorado Rapids. Bogusz scored his 10th, 11th and 12th goals of the season, and LAFC had a rather easy night at BMO Stadium with the 3-0 win.

“I am very happy because Colorado is very good,” Bogusz said of his night. “I’m very happy with my hat trick, especially that I could do it at home in front of the fans. All I can say is let’s keep going.”

The result ensures LAFC (12-4-4, 40 points) will head into its Independence Day showdown with crosstown rival LA Galaxy with possession of first place in the Western Conference. While the two squads are tied on points for first in the West, LAFC for now gets to claim the top spot by virtue of having one more win than the Galaxy.

“It’s exciting! It’s great,” LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo said. “I think over the past couple of years the Underdog role was clearly on the side of the Galaxy, but maybe not this year. So it’s great and we’re really looking forward to it – should be energetic. Exciting match; high-quality football match hopefully, where Black and Gold comes out on top hopefully. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Bogusz got LAFC going in the 20th minute. Ilie Sanchez sprung Denis Bouanga down the left side, Bouanga chased the ball into the penalty area, then sent a ball into the six-yard box, keeper Zack Steffen could not get the ball, which left Bogusz with an open net and he capitalized, outracing Kegan Rosenberry, then finishing the break with a one-timer into the back net.

Bogusz further asserted himself in the second half. Bogusz made it a brace in the 58th minute, as Eduard Atuesta played a ball to Bouanga, who then took the ball into the penalty area, Bouanga took a shot, but it deflected off Rosenberry, Bouanga chased down the ball, but fortunately it went to Bogusz and he let loose a left-footed that found the gaps and went in at the far post to double the LAFC lead. Bogusz got his hat trick in the 72nd minute, and it started when Timothy Tillman passed to Kei Kamara, who then touched a ball inside the 18, Bogusz tracked down the ball and time time shot a right-footed shot past Steffen into the back net.

Bogusz even had a hand in the Rapids having to finish the match a man behind. It occurred in the 62nd minute, as Bogusz stole a ball from Kevin Cabral, who when responded by pulling down Bogusz in order to prevent a breakaway. Unfortunately for Cabral, it was his second yellow of the match, ending his night and forcing Colorado to finish the match with 10 men.


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