Saturday, May 26, 2012

Crew Salaries, Notes

Here are the pay rate changes for players that were either part of the Columbus Crew or Major League Soccer last year and this year. On the far right is current *Guaranteed Salary.

+67.9% : Aaron Horton $70k
+38.6% : Julius James $100k
+35.0% : Eric Gehrig $44k
+33.1% : Korey Veeder $46k
+21.7% : Sebastian Miranda $140k
+18.0% : Andy Gruenebaum $79k
+16.5% : Rich Balchan $69k
+12.5% : Tommy Heinemann $47k
+10.7% : William Hesmer $181k
+09.8% : Emilio RenterĂ­a $134k
+09.1% : Danny O'Rourke $146k
+09.0% : Dilly Duka $243k
+07.7% : *Tony Tchani $209k
+06.6% : Chad Marshall $341k
+06.3% : Justin Meram $71
+05.0% : Josh Williams $44k
+05.0% : Shaun Francis $44k
+05.0% : Bernardo Anor $44k
+05.0% : Cole Grossman $44k
+04.8% : Carlos Mendes $106k
-07.0% : Eddie Gaven $195k
-30.6% : Chris Birchall $109k

NEW : Kirk Urso $34k
NEW : Ethan Finlay $59k
NEW : Aaron Schoenfeld $34k
NEW : Nemanja Vukovic $126k
NEW : Kevan George $34k
NEW : Olman Vargas $175k
NEW : Milovan Mirosevic $223k
NEW : Aubrey Perry $34k
NEW : Matt Lampson $44k
NEW : Ben Speas $58k

*Tony Tchani's contract appears to be loaded with incentives. His base salary is about half his guaranteed. Meaning: It's up to him. When I'm sorting through salaries I use Guaranteed. It'd be foolish for anyone running a club or business to plan around base salary.


NOTABLE NUMBERS (approximate)

$580k : Amount Columbus shed through player transactions (dropping $1.4 Million and signing $820k).

$230k : Pay increases to players with the Crew last year and this year

$350k : Pay reduction in total salaries, - players salaries dropped + pay increases (note: I capped Andres Mendoza at the $350k DP cap hit)



Andy Gruenebaum
Josh Williams
Eric Gehrig
Kirk Urso
Shaun Francis
Sebastian Miranda
Ethan Finlay

Contracts are complicated animals in MLS. Some of the younger drafted players probably have 3 year deals with incremental COLA -like increases. Un-drafted players are probably less. Duka and Tchani are both former Generation Adidas players. GA players are guaranteed six figures by MLS. Both Duka and Tchani "graduated" last year which means they are fair game now. Tony Tchani is essentially on trial right now. I also expect Dilly Duka's value to decrease if he can't stay healthy over longer periods.

A good chunk of the younger players with bright futures are coming up on 2 and 3 years with the team. Josh Williams, Aaron Horton, Bernardo Anor, Justin Meram, Shaun Francis, Eric Gehrig, Korey Veeder, Cole Grossman, are all solid MLS players and seem to be durable enough. Rich Balchan is a good talent, but needs to get healthy. Same goes for Tommy Heinemann.

Could it be that some of these players will make up the core Crew group for the next 5-7 years? It's really impressive that the Crew has a group like this all learning the ways of Warzycha, Bliss, Lapper and Irribarren. My hope would be that Columbus keeps them together.

Finally, how much of that is dictated by MLS is not known so I don't see a lot to get frothy about until those gaps get filled. Columbus seems to keep team salaries at or below the $3.5 million dollar mark and is doing an excellent job pulling in young regional players (highest rate in league, actually).


I will probably take a closer look at the 2-3 year Crew players later this year as their development is getting very interesting to me.

If I've got something wrong here or if you want to know more about this post you can email me: ljbaby654 (at)

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