LA Galaxy kicked off their 2015 MLS season with a 2-0 win over Chicago Fire thanks to goals from Jose Villarreal and Robbie Keane.
A labour stoppage threatened to see the new MLS season delayed but players struck a deal on a new collective agreement with the league on Wednesday and so it began on Friday evening.
The 20th season of Major League Soccer opened with Bruce Arena’s defending Galaxy side hosting Chicago Fire at the StubHub Center in California.
The opening exchanges saw the home side fail to break down an impressive looking visiting defence.
Whilst, former Aston Villa and Wigan Athletic winger Shaun Maloney was causing the home side problems on his official debut for the visitors.
The home side piled on the pressure after half-time and they broke the deadlock when Villarreal fired into the bottom corner past keeper Sean Johnson.
Gyasi Zardes then came close as he tried to add a second for the champions, but Fire would hold out until late on to their slender hope of pulling themselves back into the game.
The Galaxy secured their win late in the match as Robbie Keane fired the ball past Johnson into the net from close range to clinch the three points.