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MLS Salary Figures: Looking at the Caps

The Major League Soccer Players Union released 2013 salary details for all 557 league players Monday. Half way between the snoozer at Salt Lake, and the upcoming home date versus the LA Galaxy, we have a little time to rifle through the data for points of interest.

Are the Vancouver Whitecaps earning their keep?
Are the Vancouver Whitecaps earning their keep?

For those so inclined, MLSPU salary information can be found on the players union website. Naturally, my interest centered squarely on the Vancouver Whitecaps. First, some revealing franchise-level data (all figures are for base salary only, and not guaranteed compensation - which includes annualized signing and performance bonuses):

  • The Whitecaps' average (mean) salary is $143,604, just slightly higher than the league-wide average of $141,903.
  • With a total base salary expenditure of $4,308,121, the Caps are fourth-highest in the MLS, behind only New York ($10,008,068), Los Angeles ($9,026,930), and Cascadian rival Seattle ($5,363,796). However, Vancouver sits 14th in the MLS with 9 points.
  • Vancouver's Kenny Miller ($1,114,992) earns the seventh-highest salary in MLS. A total of eight MLS players to draw over a million dollars per season, led by LA's Robbie Keane at 4 million per season.

Here's a breakdown of the Vancouver Whitecaps base salary situation - the tree diagram, in particular is quite striking:

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The Seattle Sounders SB Nation blog Sounder at Heart also provides a wealth of salary analysis. You'll find their excellent work here.

Overall, it doesn't look like the Whitecaps ownership group has been getting value for money so far this season. Looking specifically at the roster, here's my personal list of tops and flops:

Value for money: Leveron, Hertzog, Heinemann, Teibert, and Reo-Coker

Not yet earning their keep: Kobayashi