SAN JOSE, Calif. – The San Jose Earthquakes announced today that Jamaican midfielder Khari Stephenson has returned to the club, signing after one season away with Real Salt Lake. The club also announced that is has waived midfielder Walter Martinez. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Stephenson, 33, is an 11-year professional with experience in Europe and MLS. He began his career with the Kansas City Wizards in 2004, making nine appearances in two years before departing for Sweden. The lanky center midfielder spent one season with GAIS before moving to AIK, another Swedish outfit. In 2008, Stephenson joined Aalesunds FK of Norway, making 39 appearances during three seasons in the Tippeligaen.
Following his five years in Europe, Stephenson signed with the Earthquakes on Aug. 11, 2010. He scored one goal and had one assist in 11 appearances while helping San Jose reach the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since the return of the club to MLS in 2008. A year later, he tallied five goals and four assists while starting 27 of his 31 games. Stephenson had another two goals and three assists in 27 appearances a year later during the Earthquakes’ memorable run to the 2012 MLS Supporters’ Shield. After that campaign, Stephenson was picked up by Real Salt Lake during Stage 2 of the 2012 MLS Re-Entry Process. He signed with RSL on Feb. 22, 2013 and went on to record one goal and one assist in 19 games.
Martinez, 31, scored two goals and had two assists in 15 appearances for the Earthquakes. He originally signed with San Jose on March 15, 2013 after three seasons in China. Among his highlights with the Earthquakes was a game-winning goal against Seattle Sounders FC on July 13 at Buck Shaw Stadium, a match that San Jose won 1-0.
Transaction: San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) – San Jose Earthquakes sign M Khari Stephenson, waive M Walter Martinez.
Jersey Number: 9
Born: January 18, 1981 in Kingston, Jamaica
Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica
College: Williams College
Last Club: Aalesunds FK (Norway)