Galaxy's Mike Magee celebrates one of his three goals with teammate… (Victor Decolongon / Getty…)
David Beckham is now playing for a club team in France and Landon Donovan is in the midst of a self-imposed sabbatical from soccer.
So the Galaxy's star power was muted going into its Major League Soccer opener.
But veteran Mike Magee filled the void Sunday, scoring three goals in the Galaxy's 4-0 victory over the Chicago Fire at the Home Depot Center.
It was the first hat trick of his career for Magee, in his 11th MLS season, and put an exclamation point on a day when the two-time defending champion Galaxy received its rings in a pregame ceremony that featured parachutists and fireworks.
After the game, Magee addressed reporters in front of his locker, which featured a strip of white adhesive tape emblazoned with "GRETZKY" in black ink. Magee said it was put there by a teammate.
"The hat trick was cool, getting a win was cool, and then the best part of the day was getting a ring," Magee said.
It was a much better start than last season, when the Galaxy gave up three goals in a span of 12 minutes and lost to Real Salt Lake, 3-1. The Galaxy won only three of its first 13 games before surging the rest of the regular season and winning a wild-card game to spark its title run.
"I think that championship hangover, hopefully, is something for the past and we learned from last year," said defender Todd Dunivant, who assisted on one of Magee's goals. "This is only one game and you've got to move on from it, but it's a hell of a start."
Magee was the star, but he had plenty of help.
Forward Robbie Keane, the new captain, assisted on one of Magee's goals and also scored one.
Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, Colin Clark and Sean Franklin controlled the midfield while defenders Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Leonardo and Dunivant clamped down on the Fire's attackers, who had only seven shots.
Chicago's only real threat came on Maicon Santos' free kick that new Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini tipped over the bar.
"Exactly what we wanted," Keane said of the Galaxy's performance.
In the 38th minute, Magee gave the Galaxy all it would need when he fired a left-footed volley past goalkeeper Sean Johnson off Dunivant's assist.
In the 68th minute, Keane was in front of the net when he passed to the right side and found Magee, who drilled the ball into the high left corner with his left foot.
Magee scored his final goal six minutes later on a left-footed shot from the right side after Johnson blocked a shot by Keane.
"My left foot wasn't missing today," Magee said.
Magee punctuated his final goal with a somersault, the celebration favored by Keane after scoring.
"I had no idea what I was doing," Magee said. "But it was a little bit of a thank you for having something to do with all three."