David Beckham's arrival in Los Angeles for the Galaxy four years ago was greeted with similar fanfare as Wayne Gretzky's arrival with the Kings.
It was the sport's most famous player in a city where fame means a great deal.
A global superstar, Beckham was treated like a messiah. He would change the landscape of the sport in the United States, and add another celebrity to Hollywood.
But things don't always go as planned.
The England midfielder battled injuries for years, and literally made his debut in a friendly with Chelsea while playing with an injured ankle.
After a loan to AC Milan, there were grumblings amongst Galaxy fans that Beckham wasn't fully committed to playing with the team. As much as Beckham was a draw, Los Angeles fans care about winning, and Beckham wasn't delivering wins.
It seemed to many that his arrival was more about the money, the fame of his wife Victoria, and to flee English tabloids. When his play began to suffer a bit, the honeymoon in America was over.
For the first time in his career, a cascade of jeers would intermittenly be targeted at Beckham by his fans at Home Depot Center. So while playing at MLS's style and level was a challenge, so was the negative perception he was sometimes receiving.
The losses more than likely affected Beckham more than anything.
He wasn't accustomed to losing, and parity is far more prevalent in MLS than the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, and the Bundesliga.
In MLS, Beckham was surrounded by teams that were as competitive as his. There was no version of Sunderland for the upper-echelon teams to beat up on in MLS. And though the Galaxy have been better than most MLS teams, Beckham found himself with a level of responsibility he did not expect.
Fast forward to 2011 and Beckham has his last chance to bring home an MLS Cup in his final season. This will be his last hurrah, and an opportunity to silence critics.
Then he will return to England, and probably play for Tottenham. He will leave Los Angeles for challenges on the field, not challenges in the media.
But for now, Beckham remains a Los Angeles institution, a glossy sports star in a city of celebrities, whose potential has yet been truly realized for a team he desperately wanted to succeed with. On the road, MLS fans have become more interested in their team's success rather than what tabloid star was visiting.
When he steps onto the field in Seattle to face the Sounders tonight on ESPN, the league's most rabid fans will be pulling for their beloved home team, not a sport's icon.
Beckham's last stand begins tonight.
Charting his last days may turn out to be as fascinating as his first.