SANTA CLARA -- The Earthquakes rode their Caribbean Connection and a hustling Steven Lenhart to a 3-0 win over the Houston Dynamo on Sunday night.
Jamaican Khari Stephenson scored his first two goals of the season, and Atiba Harris of Saint Kitts and Nevis added his first goal with the club in front of a sellout crowd of 10,525 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
With superstar Chris Wondolowski, who was selected to the U.S. World Cup team, cheering from the grandstands, the quicker Quakes (3-4-4) appeared to hit their stride as the match unfolded.
"It's a great feeling to get a win in front of the home fans," Stephenson said. "That's the most important thing. We need wins because we're not at the top of the table."
Lenhart, in his first action since March 29 after suffering a sprained MCL, was up to his old tricks. He created two goals with penetrating runs into the box.
Clearly, the Quakes know they'll need Wondolowski's help after the World Cup, but they didn't appear to need him Sunday night.
"That was awesome," Wondolowski said of the team's performance.
"It's good to put up three goals, no matter who's watching," Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch said. "Maybe that was our good luck, but when you put up three goals it makes it a lot easier for us in the back. It was a tremendous team performance all round."
The same team that managed just 10 goals in its first 10 games overwhelmed the Dynamo (5-7-2) during a dazzling second half. Stephenson, 33, was subbed out for J.J. Koval in the 86th minute and received a standing ovation.
"He's a central midfielder that can score goals," Quakes coach Mark Watson said of Stephenson. "That's something that we want. He's got a good shot from distance, but you see on his free kicks he's a good finisher."
Harris rounded out the scoring in the 70th minute. On a high ball sent in by Jordan Stewart, he outleaped goalkeeper Tally Hall outside the penalty box and tapped the ball into the net after it hit the post. The Quakes acquired Harris in an offseason deal that sent Marvin Chavez to Colorado.
San Jose also welcomed back speedy Yannick Djalo and Shea Salinas, and the energetic duo helped sparked the offense. Outside defender Shaun Francis was also in strong form.
The Quakes' starting lineup came with a twist: central midfielder Sam Cronin was on the bench. Cronin had nine starts this season after being the club's only player to start all 34 games last season. Clarence Goodson, cut from the U.S. World Cup team during the week, also did not play.
The Quakes led 1-0 on Stephenson's goal in the 38th minute after the Dynamo missed on two opportunities when they were denied by Busch. On the goal, Salinas tapped the pass back to Stephenson on an indirect free kick from the Houston goalmouth, and he shot into the far corner as a wall of players converged.
Lenhart was replaced by Alan Gordon in the 80th minute, marking Gordon's return from a groin injury.
Earthquakes (3-4-4) at FC Dallas (5-6-3), 5:30 p.m. CSNBA