LA Galaxy is one of the ten founding teams in Major League Soccer. The name “Galaxy” was derived from Los Angeles being home to the “stars” of Hollywood. The team began competing in the first season of the then-new league, which took place in 1996.
In the inaugural season, Los Angeles finished first in the Western Conference and was one of the two teams that contested in the first MLS Cup. The Galaxy finished as runners-up, losing to D.C. United in the final. The 1997 season started out 1–7 after eight games, but they went 15–9 for the rest of the season to qualify for the playoffs. The Galaxy ended up second in their conference by losing to the Dallas Burn. In 1998, the Galaxy left off on a streak, eventually finishing 24–8. The Galaxy defeated the Dallas Burn, 9–3 on aggregate. They lost in the semi-final to the Chicago Fire, 2–1 on aggregate.