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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Friday, July 17, 2015

By the numbers: Union 2015 salary figures (UPDATED)

Ray Gaddis got paid with a new deal last year.
Friday, we found out just how much.
(Times Staff/TOM KELLY IV)
The MLS Players Union at long last released its 2015 player salaries Friday, the day after announcing the formal ratification by player vote of the new collective bargaining agreement. The rest of the news week will be filled with highlights of the big numbers, but those emanating from Philadelphia Union land don’t exactly rate inclusion in those roundups.

Below is the full list of Union salaries with some explanatory notes at the end. Spots 1-20 indicate on-budget senior-roster players that count toward the salary cap, while spots 21-28 are the off-budget players, per the MLS Roster Rules and Regulations. This database, constructed by the Orlando Sentinel, is worth perusing as well for a more interactive form of the data.

(In alphabetical order, base salary listed, guaranteed compensations in parenthesis if different UPDATED)

1. Fernando Aristeguieta $350,004 (young designated player)
2. Maurice Edu $700,000 ($768,750 – designated player)
3. Fred $60,000
4. Brian Carroll $150,000
5. Conor Casey $180,000
6. Fabinho $114,000 ($118,500)
7. Ray Gaddis $130,000 ($132,500)
8. Antoine Hoppenot $60,000
9. Michael Lahoud $108,900 ($112,233)
10. Sebastien Le Toux $275,000 ($285,228)
11. Cristian Maidana $203,500 ($217,250)
12. Rais M’Bolhi $350,000
13. Vincent Nogueira $330,000
14. CJ Sapong $125,000 ($142,000)
15. Steven Vitoria $400,000
16. Andrew Wenger $180,000 ($282,000)
17. Ethan White $125,000
18. Sheanon Williams $145,000 ($150,000)
19. Richie Marquez $60,000
20. Dzenan Catic $60,000 ($75,000)

21. Andre Blake $85,000 ($123,000 – Generation Adidas)
22. Jimmy McLaughlin $60,000 (Homegrown Player)
23. Zach Pfeffer $60,000 (Homegrown Player)
24. Eric Bird $60,000
25. Raymond Lee $60,000
26. Eric Ayuk $50,000
27. John McCarthy $50,000 ($56,250)
28. Brian Sylvestre $60,000

Austin Berry $93,519 ($108,519)
Danny Cruz $125,000 ($131,667)
Leo Fernandez $60,000
Carlos Valdes $400,000

Zac MacMath $130,000 (paid by Colorado via intra-league loan mechanism)

Union salary cap (Totals for players 1-20): $3,692,650
Union base salaries (Totals for players 1-28): $4,117,650
Union total compensation (including inactive roster): $5,578,401

- The Union would appear to be slightly over the salary cap of $3.49 million, accounting for Fernando Aristeguieta’s cap hit at the young DP threshold and Maurice Edu at the DP number. I’ll double check my math on that.

- (UPDATE: Thanks to this outstanding work by Paul Tenorio at the Orlando Sentinel, we see that the Union's total player expenditure ranks 10th in MLS, sandwiched between Sporting Kansas City and Portland, though Portland's signing of Lucas Melano Thursday certainly vaults them into the top half. The big split in fortunes is between teams five and six: Seattle at $11.3 million and New England at $6.5 million.)

- The big number that should jump out is a guy who is no longer in the Union’s plans: Rais M’Bolhi. M’Bolhi is the third-highest paid goalkeeper in MLS, trailing on D.C. United Bill Hamid ($405,000 guaranteed) and Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando ($370,000). That exceeds even my highest estimations at this time last year. It also may not capture the full breadth of his compensation if it’s being paid down by allocation money or other means, and there are indications that that could be the case. In more practical terms, the total compensation (not cap hit, but actual money spent this season) for John McCarthy, Brian Sylvestre, Andre Blake and Zac MacMath is around $369,000. To say that the Union risked a lot on M’Bolhi, well, that’s definitive proof.

-The Union’s highest paid player this season is Edu. During his loan last season, he made $650K. The permanent deal has upped that by over $100,000.

- The Union are one of eight teams in MLS without a million-dollar player. For curiosity’s sake, here’s the millionaires club in MLS in terms of guaranteed compensation:

Shaun Maloney, Chicago $1.586 million
Federico Higuain, Columbus $1.175 million
Kevin Doyle, Colorado $1.170 million
Giovanni Dos Santos, L.A. Galaxy $4.1 million
Steven Gerrard, L.A. Galaxy $6.332 million
Omar Gonzalez, L.A. Galaxy $1.45 million
Robbie Keane, L.A. Galaxy $4.5 million
Jermaine Jones, New England $3.052 million
Frank Lampard, NYCFC $6 million
Andrea Pirlo, NYCFC $2.315 million
David Villa, NYCFC $5.61 million
Kaka, Orlando City $7.167 million
Liam Ridgewell, Portland $1 million
Clint Dempsey, Seattle, $4.605 million
Obafemi Martins, Seattle $3 million
Innocent Emeghara, San Jose $1.04 million
Jozy Altidore, Toronto $4.75 million
Michael Bradley, Toronto $6.5 million
Sebastien Giovinco, Toronto $7.115 million
Gilberto, Toronto $1.205 million
Pedro Morales, Vancouver $1.41 million

Among the top earners on the non-millionaire organizations, Edu’s salary is the second-highest, trailing only DaMarcus Beasley in Houston ($813,333). That means six clubs – Dallas’s Mauro Diaz ($442,400), D.C.’s Alvaro Saborio ($493,333), Sporting K.C.’s Roger Espinoza ($750,000), Montreal’s Laurent Ciman ($401,667), New York Red Bulls’ Bradley Wright-Phillips ($660,000) and Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman ($700,000) – have a top earning making less than the Union’s. It also means six players outearn the entire Union team, including one they'll meet this Saturday.

- There is some noise in the numbers, so take them with a grain of salt. Zach Pfeffer, for instance, was listed at a base salary of $85,000 last fall, while Jimmy McLaughlin was at $75.000. Both are listed at $60,000 this year. I highly doubt they took such drastic pay cuts as part of their new deals. As definitive as these numbers purport to be, there are other mechanisms of compensation out there. (UPDATE: In the earlier edition of this article, I neglected to reflect Pfeffer and McLaughlin as still under Homegrown protection, which Technical Director Chris Albright indicated when asked in March. Moving those two off the budget and replacing them with two minimum players is guesswork on my part, which is why Richie Marquez and Dzenan Catic are there. I will try to get confirmation of which of the minimum guys actually occupies the senior roster spots. It doesn't change the math for the salary cap, though, since the base salaries are identical. It's a moving target)

- This is the first look we get not just at M’Bolhi’s deal but the non-pro-rated deal of Carlos Valdes, who is being paid $400,000 not to play for the Union this season. That’s one of the highest defender salaries in the league. It’s the same price being paid to Steven Vitoria, who hasn’t played in three months.

- Some changes from last year: Conor Casey and Fred took pay cuts of around $5,000 to stay with the Union. Brian Carroll’s salary, meanwhile, was slashed $35,000 to his new deal, earning him $150,000. Again, not sure if the Union are making up for that in other areas.

- The big raise we knew about was Ray Gaddis inking a new deal, which more than doubled his pay, from guaranteed compensation of $52k last year to $132,500 this year. Other big jumps include $40k for Andrew Wenger and $45k for Ethan White. There are also modest raises across the board for veterans in the $10k to $25k range. CJ Sapong received a significant raise ($112k to $142) in his jump from Sporting KC.

- It’s worth noting that while teams are required to have a certain number of minimum players, the Union far exceed that. They have 11 guys making the league minimum of $60,000 (or $50,000 for younger players), and yet still are up against the cap.

- If you’re wondering, Amobi Okugo $228,000 with the Union last season. Orlando City is paying him $300,000 this year.

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Blogger chad gambone said...

These are actual salary, not cap hits --- so the Union are likely paying down some of the contracts to stay under the cap.

July 17, 2015 at 3:44 PM 

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