While the first-ever MLS match was played the week before between D.C. United and the San Jose Clash, it was on April 13 and April 14, 1996 that the league truly enjoyed its first full slate of matches, with the eight remaining original MLS clubs playing their first-ever league matches.
Here's a look back to what transpired on the first full weekend of Major League Soccer.
Columbus Crew 4, D.C. United 0
Brian McBride had already played professionally in Germany, but his life in the American soccer spotlight truly began on this night at the Horseshoe in Columbus, when he scored a brace and added an assist in an emphatic victory that earned him Player of the Week honors. Yes, the level of play in MLS has come a long way since 1996, but his second on the night would rival any goal he scored in any capacity, be it for the US national team or his future stops at Preston North End, Everton and Fulham.
Kansas City Wizards 3, Colorado Rapids 0
The Kansas City Wizards club identity would eventually change, but the cult fame of Digital Takawira still lives on today among Sporting Kansas City fans and those fond of memorable sports names. His opener was the first of 13 goals he scored during the 1996, and part of 28 tallies during his four-year MLS career.
LA Galaxy 2, New York/New Jersey MetroStars 1
Before nearly 70,000 at the Rose Bowl, the Galaxy leaped out to a two-goal lead and held on for a 2-1 win over the New York/New Jersey MetroStars. Longtime US men's national team and Galaxy regular Cobi Jones scored LA's first goal. Current Portland Timbers manager Giovanni Savarese got the first for the MetroStars. (Check out the full rebroadcast.)
Tampa Bay Mutiny 3, New England Revolution 2
Robert Ukrop scored the only two goals of his MLS career for the visiting New England Revolution, but Carlos Valderrama, Roy Lassiter and company got off to a winning start at home. The game also featured what appears to be the first red card in MLS history, issued to Jim St. Andre in the 89th minute.
Dallas Burn 1, San Jose Clash 0 (SO)
The old NASL-style shootout officially made its MLS debut before nearly 28,000 at the Cotton Bowl.