Thursday, April 10, 2014

MLS Salaries Released, High Level

The Major League Soccer Players Union released salary information a little earlier than normal this year. Informative, as with every release. The first chart I have here is aggregate team wages and salary cap (budget) number.

The reason this is first is that we have a new number one spender in the league and another couple new teams joining the $6 million dollar club.

1) $16.7m : Toronto FC
2) $13.1m : Los Angeles Galaxy
3) $11.8m : Seattle Sounders
4) $11.3m : New York Red Bulls
5) $6.2m : Vancouver Whitecaps
6) $6.1m : Montreal Impact


• There's no question that MLS went out to buy as many US National Team players as they could last year. The reasoning behind it is simple; Bring the hordes of USMNT supporters that pack international events over to MLS. Jury is out on this reasoning. Michael Bradley, one of the new signings that's making more than all but four whole teams, played in front of just 12k fans at Crew Stadium last week.

• Crew overall spend is about where it always is, which is in the bottom five or six.

• I estimate the Crew cap position is in better shape than most. Almost all really. Teams with usable Cap space:

$600k : New England (3)
$534k : Columbus Crew (-1)
$445k : Chivas USA (1)
$368k : Colorado Rapids (3)

On the right is open roster spots. The Crew are actually carrying one too many, which means if they want to use space they will have to cut two.

• Top 14 players comprise 40% of all league salary.

• Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzales make up 17% of all league wages. If they were a team among themselves they would be the highest paid in MLS by $4 million dollars. It would take five entire Columbus Crew rosters to equal their salary.

• Median salary is $92,000 per year.

• Teams with no cap space unless the make moves or pay down with allocation:

Vancouver Whitecaps
FC Dallas
New York Red Bulls
Seattle Sounders
San Jose Earthquakes
Toronto FC
Portland Timbers
LA Galaxy

• Incredibly, the Houston Dynamo only have 25 players on the roster.

• Crew have most players making under 50k (13).

• No huge callouts on the Crew roster salaries, other than I was right!! On most, anyway.

744k Federico Higuain
300k Michael Parkhurst
251k Dominic Oduro
243k Giancarlo Gonzalez


175k Tony Tchani
153k Waylon Francis
152k Wil Trapp
141k Agustin Viana

----(Crew) 3RD QUARTILE

138k Steven Clark
135k Jairo Arrieta
125k Josh Williams


91k Justin Meram
89k Tyson Wahl
78k Ryan Finley
76k Daniel Paladini
75k Hector Jimenez


65k Ethan Finlay
65k Ben Speas
48k Chad Barson
48k Aaron Schoenfeld
48k Matt Lampson
48k Bernardo Anor
48k Eric Gehrig
48k Kevan George
48k Ben Sweat
48k Matt Wiet
48k Brad Stuver
36k Adam Bedell
36k Kingsley Baiden
36k Ross Friedman
36k Matt Walker


MLS keeps the preseason transfer / transaction window open for the first three months of the friggin' season so these salaries are good until about next week.

What's not fluid is the ginormous over spend on some of these players. Good players but not worth what they are getting. Did you know that MLS now has some of the most expensive players in North America? Yes, that includes Mexico. It's been that way for a little bit.

What keeps MLS from improving like it should is, well... another post. I will say here that roster rules and restrictions along with a false cap (see chart at top) is a big problem.

CBA is up at the end of the year.

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