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Expected Goals: Upcoming Milestones for Matchday 33

September 19, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS) News Release

Orlando City on Verge of Club-Record Regular Season

After winning seven of their last nine matches, Orlando City SC has rocketed up the table and now sit second in the Supporters' Shield standings. The Lions have put it all together in the second half of the season and, in doing so, have many club records in their sights. With a road victory against NYCFC on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass), Orlando would set their club records in both points (51 in 2021) and wins (14 in 2022).

Leading the charge for Orlando City has been Óscar Pareja, who led the club to their first trophy as an MLS club last season when they took home the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In 2023, Pareja has enabled a terrific trio of Facundo Torres (12 goals, four assists), Duncan McGuire (eight goals, two assists), and Martín Ojeda (six goals, 10 assists) who have combined to lead the club to record heights. After a dramatic 4-3 victory over Columbus on Saturday, Orlando has eyes on club history this Wednesday.

Bouanga Back into Golden Boot Lead

In his first full MLS season, Dénis Bouanga is bagging the goals, including a brace in Saturday's 4-2 rivalry victory over the LA Galaxy. Bouanga now has 14 goals this season, which is tied for the most in the league through Matchday 32 as he continues his pursuit of the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi. Additionally, he sits just two goals shy of tying for the second-most regular season goals in a single season in club history.

For Bouanga, it hasn't just been MLS play in which he has scored. The Gabonese international also added eight goals in the 2023 Concacaf Champions Cup and produced six more in Leagues Cup as LAFC made deep runs in both tournaments. If LAFC are to challenge for the Western Conference crown and look to repeat as Audi MLS Cup champions, Bouanga will have to keep up the scoring.

Alex Bono Allowing No Goals for D.C.

With the race for the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs getting tighter and tighter each week, a strong defense can help clubs solidify their position in the postseason. D.C. United has been doing exactly that, as Wayne Rooney's men have not conceded a goal since August 26. D.C. has only ever had one shutout streak of 400-plus minutes (504 in 2019) and currently owns a 322-minute shutout streak.

In net for D.C. has been Alex Bono, who earned a starting position with his shot-stopping efforts. Bono has appeared in five matches (four starts) this season and has yet to concede a goal over a span lasting 405 minutes. With a shutout against high-scoring Atlanta United on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass), Bono would produce the second-longest shutout streak by a goalkeeper in club history.

Columbus Crew Continuing to Score at Will

In the first season as head coach of the Columbus Crew, Wilfried Nancy has helped produce on one major thing: goals. The Crew's 57 goals currently lead MLS and they have hit the back of the net seven times in their last two matches. Of the 57 goals this season, an MLS-high 30 have come in the first half, which is four more than the next closest team (St. Louis CITY SC, 26).

As Columbus enters the home stretch of the 2023 season, they will look to set the club's single-season goal-scoring record of 67, which was established in 1998. However, when the Crew host the Chicago Fire on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, MLS Season Pass), they will need just three goals to reach 60 in a season for the second time in club history.

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