Let's get reacquainted with the Jamaican veteran Khari Stephenson. Stephenson, who originally signed with the Earthquakes in 2010, came back to the club this year after a season with Real Salt Lake. We sat down with the returning Earthquake to hear how life has been being back in San Jose, his recent brace, World Cup predictions and more.
SJEarthquakes.com: Have you taken on any leadership responsibilities as one of older players on the team?
Stephenson: Yes - I think it's only natural being one of the older guys. I'm not the type who screams a lot, but I more lead by example and help by giving advice
SJEQ: Who will you be rooting for in this year’s World Cup and why?
Stephenson: I think Brazil and Germany both have a great chance. Brazil, being the host nation will be a difficult team to beat with the home crowd behind them. Germany has a solid team with some very good players. They have been playing well in all their games this year so look out for them.
SJEQ: What did it mean to score two goals against Houston last weekend?
Stephenson: It was the first time in my professional career scoring two goals in a league game. So, of course it was a great feeling, but more importantly, we got the three points which is what we needed
SJEQ: What has it been like returning to the Earthquakes organization this past year?
Stephenson: It has been great so far. In many respects, it's like I never left. We have a great group of guys here, coaches that I have always gotten along with, as well as many of the people in the front office.
SJEQ: What is your favorite part of San Jose?
Stephenson: My favorite part, I would have to say is the weather [laughs]. It sunny more often than not. That's not something you should not complain about.
SJEQ: What was it like taking a lap around the track at Laguna Seca?
Stephenson: That was a great experience. Not being a big racing fan, I had no idea what to expect. You get such a rush being in that car and speeding around the track.
SJEQ: What is a better nickname for your shot: the Rasta Rocket or the Khari Bomb?
Stephenson: Khari Bomb, for sure!
SJEQ: Do Tommy Thompson’s rookie duties extend to his living arrangements?
Stephenson: [Laughs] Not at all. Though, you might be on to something...[Laughs]
SJEQ: What is your favorite place for Jamaican food in the Bay Area?
Stephenson: I get Jamaican food from Back A Yard. Personally, it's the best Jamaican restaurant food I have had outside of Jamaica.
SJEQ: What do you enjoy the most about playing for the Earthquakes?
Stephenson: The camaraderie we have as a team. We have a great atmosphere in the locker room; one of the best I've had in my career. Each and every player has each other's back and is gives everything game in and game out.
SJEQ: What is the most memorable moment of your playing career?
Stephenson: Playing and scoring in the UEFA Cup, now called the Europa league, as well as starting in the MLS Cup in my rookie year.
SJEQ: How is it having Shaun Francis - a fellow Jamaican - as a teammate with the Earthquakes?
Stephenson: It been great having him here. We were acquaintances before, and now we're very good friends. We get along very well and it's always a bonus having someone around who you share a similar culture with.
SJEQ: If the Earthquakes had a Khari Stephenson bobblehead night, how would you want the bobblehead to look?
Stephenson: It better look just like me! Haha. Having a bobble head in itself would be an honour which would be greatly appreciated...wink, wink..
SJEQ: Do you have any pregame rituals?
Stephenson: No, I don't have any pregame rituals.