Steven Gerrard showed fairly well in his long-awaited LA Galaxy debut on Saturday night, playing 45 minutes as the MLS Cup holders beat Club America 2-1 in their International Champions Cup match at the StubHub Center.
The Galaxy rallied from behind to secure the victory over the Mexican giants, as club captain Robbie Keane cancelled out Darwin Quintero’s seventh-minute opener just before half-time following a brilliant first touch from midfielder Juninho’s long ball.
Striker Alan Gordon then grabbed the winner 10 minutes before the end, connecting with fellow substitute Raul Mendiola’s cross to send a looping header into the back of the net.
To no surprise, though, much of the focus on the night was on Gerrard’s performance, as the 35-year-old Englishman made his first appearance for a club other than boyhood team Liverpool.
Starting in an attacking role in central midfield, the former Reds skipper showed some clear glimpses of the talent which made him an Anfield legend too, making a number of impressive runs and forcing a fine 21st-minute save from America goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez.
After a six-week break, his lack of match fitness grew evident as the first-half wore on but the ex-England international seemed pleased enough with his run-out at the final whistle.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Gerrard said: “It was a great feeling. It was a difficult game and I thought [Club América] were very good. I thought after 15 or 20 minutes that the team settled really well, we played some good football and we got our deserved equalizer.
"For me personally, it was good to get 45 minutes under my belt and I’ll keep getting better and better and the more I get used to my teammates, I’ll improve.
“Physically, it was tough. I haven’t played a competitive match for six or seven weeks so it was very important that I got out there and got 45 minutes. Hopefully I get some more minutes Tuesday [in the U.S. Open Cup match at Real Salt Lake] and be ready for the big game on Friday [against the San Jose Earthquakes].”