Lots of Dollars, No Sense: Players Union Releases Salaries

The MLS Players Union today released their annual list of players’ salaries for the current contract year.  You can see the team-by-team breakdown here and Steven Goff lists the top 25 base salaried players here.  Salaries on the union site are broken down into base salary and compensation, which includes all of the bonuses and incentives that would count for this year.  The release of this list is like Christmas for MLS fans, because it is as close as we can get to peeking behind the curtain of the mysterious world of the MLS salary cap.  Plus, we get to complain about those players who make too much on our favorite teams.

That said, the following are some general thoughts on the top 25 list, as well as the “All Overpaid Team” and “All Underpaid Team”:

  • New York has the top two highest compensated players in MLS, with the original Designated Player trailing second place Rafa Marquez by $1.6m in base salary and $600k in compensation.
  • Let that sink in Red Bulls fans – your team has made Rafa Marquez the second highest paid player in MLS.
  • Winless Toronto has three players in the top 10!  In fact, the bottom five teams in the standings have eight of the top 25 highest paid players.
  • The top five teams in the current standings have nine players on this list, led by DC’s three and New York’s two.  The top three teams in the West have four players on the list and the best team in MLS right now has none.
  • David Ferreira is the only player on this list who has not played this season, and with a few exceptions most of these players are key contributors on their teams.  That said, those teams represented in the top ten are mostly pretty poor this year.
Now, to our team of players who this season are most egregiously overpaid (based on base salary):
GK: Ricketts (MON, $250k)
D: Lopez (PHI, $120k), Marquez (NYRB, $4.6m), Sivebaek (SEA, $99,996), Smith (POR, $108k)
M: Frings (TOR, $2m), Nagamura (SKC, $250k), Thorrington (VAN, $120k)
F: Angel (CHV, $350k), Barrett (LAG, $220k), Wolff (DCU, $130k)


And our most underpaid team of this season:
GK: Meara (NYRB, $33.5k)
D: G. Farfan (PHI, $46.5k), John (DAL, $47k), Morrow (SJ, $44.1k), Woolard (DCU, $56, 250)
M: Moffat (HOU, $59,535), Nguyen (NE, $44k), Rivero (COL, $50k)
F: Estrada (SEA, $44k), Paulo Jr. (RSL, $75k), Sapong (SKC, $65k)


Who would you add or subtract from these teams?
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