LA Galaxy unveiled a statue of former England captain David Beckham outside their stadium, before Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the winner in their MLS season opener against Chicago Fire.
Ex-Manchester United midfielder Beckham, 43, won the MLS Cup twice in five seasons with Galaxy from 2007.
The statue is the first of its kind in the MLS.
“Today a dream came true,” said Beckham, the owner of Inter Miami, who will make their MLS debut in 2020.
During the unveiling ceremony at Dignity Health Sports Park, former Galaxy team-mate Robbie Keane, NBA legend Kobe Bryant and US rapper Snoop Dogg paid tribute to Beckham.
Beckham said: “I am truly proud you have created something to – a – keep me young and – b – give my family and friends and especially my kids, who can come here one day very soon and see something of their father and see what we created and what I achieved.”
When sporting statues go wrong
Former Sweden striker Ibrahimovic, who scored 22 goals in his debut season, scored an 80th-minute header to give Galaxy a 2-1 win.
Elsewhere, FC Cincinnati lost 4-1 to Seattle Sounders on their MLS debut, while ex-Manchester United and Portugal winger Nani made his MLS debut for Orlando City in a 2-2 draw with New York City.
Champions Atlanta United face Wayne Rooney’s DC United on Sunday at 23:00 GMT.