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Beyond the Lens - Player Salaries

Released by the Players Union

A couple times a year, the MLS Player Union releases what each player’s base compensation and actual compensation (base + signing bonus annualized over contract length - agent fees annualized over contract length).

Focusing specifically on the Caps, let’s look at their entire roster:

Caps Salaries

Last First 2017 Guaranteed 2016 Guaranteed
Last First 2017 Guaranteed 2016 Guaranteed
Adekugbe Sam 85,000.00 75,000.00
Bolanos Christian 253,500.00 253,500.00
Bustos Marco 70,475.00 67,350.00
Davies Alphonso 65,000.00 62,499.96
de Jong Marcel 140,000.00 62,499.96
Dean Christian 202,000.00 191,000.00
Edgar David 183,833.33 113,416.67
Flores Deybi 71,885.00 68,385.00
Greig Kyle 66,849.00 ????
Harvey Jordan 180,000.00 165,000.00
Hurtado Erik 131,250.00 121,091.50
Jacobson Andrew 175,000.00 87,500.08
Laba Matias 885,500.00 720,500.00
Levis Brett 67,500.00 64,999.96
McKendry Ben 65,000.00 52,500.00
Mezquida Nicolas 120,000.00 88,000.00
Montero Fredy 1,800,000.04 ????
Nerwinski Jake 65,004.00 ------
Ousted David 378,933.33 378,933.33
Parker Tim 99,600.00 84,750.00
Reyna Yordy 533,700.04 -----
Richey Spencer 65,004.00 -----
Rosales Mauro 65,004.00 62,500.00
Seiler Cole 54,075.00 51,500.00
Shea Brek 670,000.00 595,000.00
Tchani Tony 308,333.33 283,333.33
Techera Cristian 377,000.00 345,000.00
Teibert Russell 194,000.00 182,500.00
Tornaghi Paolo 80,000.00 62,500.00
Waston Kendall 368,125.00 318,125.00
Williams Sheanon 184,000.00 171,500.00
MLS Players Union

A number of names and numbers pop out at me:
Christian Dean @ 202K
Marcel deJong @ 140K
Andrew Jacobson @ 185K

Christian Dean has been graduated from the Genaration Adidas program meaning that his full salary now counts against the cap. Might be a bit harsh to ask him to take a paycut, but wow....

deJong and Jacobson received major increases over last season. I can understand the increase for AJ, but Marcel’s is a little perplexing seeing as how he’s played the equivalent for 1 full game + 1 minute this season, and I don’t think he was anything special last season when he arrived.

Just for comparison sake, here’s the highest paid player for each team:

Highest Paid by Team

Team Player 2017 Guaranteed
Team Player 2017 Guaranteed
Atlanta Utd Miguel Almiron $2,297,000.00
Chicago Fire Bastian Schweinsteiger $5,400,000.00
Colorado Rapids Tim Howard $2,475,000.00
Columbus Crew Federico Higuain $1,050,000.00
Dallas Roland Lamah $773,500.00
DC United Luciano Acosta $602,000.00
Houston Erick Torres $665,000.00
Kansas City Roger Espinoza $850,000.00
LA Galaxy Gio Dos Santos $5,500,000.00
Minnesota Utd Vadim Demidov $555,008.00
Montreal Impact Matteo Mancuso $719,541.75
NE Revs Kei Kamara $800,000.00
NYCFC Andrea Pirlo $5,915,690.00
NYRB Bradley Wright-Phillips $1,635,000.00
Orlando City Kaka $7,167,000.00
Philadelphia Union Alejandro Bedoya $1,197,250.00
Portland Timbers Diego Valeri $2,607,500.00
Real Salt Lake Yura Movsisyan $1,973,750.00
San Jose Earthquakes Chris Wondolowski $800,000.00
Seattle Sounders Clint Dempsey $3,892,933.50
Toronto FC Sebastian Giovinco $7,115,555.67
Vancouver Whitecaps Fredy Montero $1,800,000.04

What does this all mean? You can use any sort of metric you want to and it’ll probably show something different. Let’s look at what usually are the 5 CONCACAF Champions League spots that North America (USSF gets 4, CSA gets 1) gets, for the last 5 years:
2016-2017 CCL spots:
Dallas (conference winner), NYRB (Shield and conference winner), Portland (2015 MLS Cup), SKC (Open Cup winner), Vancouver (Cdn Championship)

2015-2016 CCL spots:
LA Galaxy (2014 MLS Cup), Seattle (Shield & Open Cup), DC (conference winner opp SS), RSL (best placed team, not already in, got USOC slot), Vancouver (best placed Canadian team,no Championship tournament)

2014-2015 CCL spots:
SKC (2013 MLS Cup), NYRB (Supporters Shield), Portland (conference winner opp SS), DC United (Open Cup), Montreal (Cdn Championship)

2013-2014 CCL spots:
LA Galaxy (2012 MLS Cup), San Jose (Supporters Shield), Houston (MLS Cup runner-up), SKC (US Open Cup)

2012-2013 CCL spots:
LA Galaxy (2011 MLS Cup and Supporters Shield), Seattle (US Open Cup and SS runner-up), Houston (MLS Cup runner up), RSL (3rd place, best placed team, not already qualified)

What can you derive from all of this? I will let you draw your own conclusions.