Behind a new-look lineup and unexpected contributions, San Jose broke their losing streak and picked up a critical three points with a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Wizards. San Jose’s one goal came in the 35th minute, a beautiful one-time shot across goal by Chris Wondolowski from an excellent looping, over head pass from Khari Stephenson. Stephenson was arguably the story of the game. Signed just five days prior to the game from Aelesunds in Norway, the Jamaican made his debut and immediately left his mark on the game. From his position in midfield he created chances for his teammates and hit the crossbar on one dead ball shot attempt. With San Jose’s recent struggles in midfield, Stephenson’s arrival may bode well for the conclusion of the season.
Meanwhile, Tim Ward, Jason Hernandez, Brandon McDonald, and Bobby Convey formed an unusual but effective back line, and Joe Cannon returned to the starting lineup and earned a clean sheet with seven saves. Bobby Burling and Steve Beitashour both ended up not playing to rest their injuries, but both were available as substitutes and Burling even entered the game in the 89th minute. Having both back will allow more players to return to their natural positions with the Los Angeles Galaxy coming to town.