It was just the second victory in six games for Sporting KC, desperate for a result to keep its playoff chances alive. It was also just the second home victory in six tries for Sporting KC (9-11-7, 31 points), which still sits six points below the playoff line with its streak of eight consecutive playoff appearances in the balance.
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The Earthquakes (11-8-5, 38 points) might be much improved this season, but they still find visits to Kansas City to be perplexing. San Jose is now 1-12 in its last 13 visits to the city while sitting tied with FC Dallas at the bottom of the playoff line in the Western Conference.
Smith's goal, in his ninth career game, came after Johnny Russell's free kick, from just outside of the top right corner of the penalty area, deflected off the near post. Smith found the ball on the left side of goal and redirected it uncontested with his right foot into the net.
All-time MLS leading goal scorer Chris Wondolowski gave the Earthquakes a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute. His header off a corner kick from Cristian Espinoza clanked off the left post and into the net past Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia.
The goal was Wondolowski's 10th of the season, giving him at least 10 goals for 10 consecutive seasons. It was the 154th goal of his MLS career.
Sporting KC scored the equalizer with a left-footed shot from their own veteran when Benny Feilhaber delivered in the 50th minute. Russell chipped in a centering feed that Jimmy Medranda knocked down with his chest. Feilhaber pounced from just outside the penalty area to beat diving goalkeeper Daniel Vega.
The goal was Feilhaber's first since rejoining Sporting KC in a trade with the Colorado Rapids in May and his third of the season. He was a member of Sporting KC from 2013-17, scoring 29 goals during that time. It was also his 40th career MLS goal.
San Jose midfielder Judson received a yellow card in the 59th minute for a late sliding tackle attempt and will miss the Earthquake's next game Wednesday at LAFC because of yellow-card accumulation.
Wondolowski puts San Jose in front with a free header
Major League Soccer: Chris Wondolowski (25') Sporting KC 0-1 San Jose. To watch MLS sign up to ESPN+.
Feilhaber magic helps Sporting KC take down San Jose
Sporting Kansas City beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 thanks in part to a sumptuous volley from Benny Feilhaber.