Steven Gerrard’s LA Galaxy career began with a victory on Saturday night, as the MLS club secured a 2-1 win over Mexican giants Club America in their International Champions Cup match at the StubHub Center.
The 35-year-old Englishman played 45 minutes on his first appearance since arriving from boyhood club Liverpool, as he took up an advanced role in central midfield in front of Brazilian stalwart Juninho.
He showed some glimpses of the talent which made him a legend at Anfield too, making several driving runs and almost scoring in the 21st-minute after forcing a fine save from America goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez.
However, having been out of action since the end of the 2014-15 Premier League campaign, his lack of match fitness was also evident on the night and, after seeing him fade as the first-half wore on, head coach Bruce Arena admitted that his new star signing would needs some time before he is up to speed with the rest of his teammates.
Speaking to the club’s official website at the final whistle, Arena said: "I think Steven played well, we are going to see how he feels tomorrow and Monday before we make a decision moving forward for Open Cup.
“His passing was very good, his partnership with Juninho was good, he won some tackles, helped create some chances, he could have had a goal, the keeper made a great save on him. For his first time out it was very encouraging, he looked like he belonged, his leadership was really good, I thought he was solid.
“He [Steven Gerrard] is probably about a month away from being fit enough to play a full match, it will take some games. It doesn't come from training, he will have to play some matches and we will try to slowly build him into that, but what I could see tonight it was a good 45 minutes from him.
“Again I think that after 15 or 20 minutes, we got into the game and did a much better job in the first half, and I thought the group in the second half did well."
The Galaxy themselves rallied from 1-0 down to earn the victory at home, as club captain Robbie Keane cancelled out Darwin Quintero’s seventh-minute opener just before half-time, before substitute Alan Gordon netted an 80th-minute winner.
Most of the focus on the night was on Gerrard, though, with the following images marking the start of a new chapter in the former one-club man's career.