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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Counting the Union's costs: MLS Players Union reveals May 2016 salaries

Midfielder Roland Alberg will earn $377,250 this season
with the Union, per MLS Players Union filings,
just under the designated player thresshold.
(Digital First Media/Pete Bannan)
The MLS Players Union released its salary figures Thursday morning (pdf), its first such release this season following the closure of MLS’s transfer window last week. It’s the first look we get at the price the Union paid to significantly overhaul the team last season, bringing in essentially half a squad.

Below are the numbers, broken up by on-budget and off-budget, listed alphabetically in groups of five. (A reminder of the guidelines is here, and you can find other league-wide ramifications of the numbers here.)


Roland Alberg $328,000/$377,250#
Fabinho $142,000/$142,000
Tranquillo Barnetta $650,000/$687,500#
Brian Carroll $120,000/$120,000
Anderson $150,000/$165,833#

Warren Creavalle $118,000/$125,666
Maurice Edu $725,000/$793,750*
Leo Fernandes $63,000/$63,000
Ray Gaddis $150,000/$152,500
Ilsinho $430,000/$478,333#

Matt Jones $75,000/$80,625
Sebastien Le Toux $300,000/$310,228
Richie Marquez $63,000/$63,000
John McCarthy $79,000/$85,250
Vincent Nogueira $400,000/$400,000

Chris Pontius $380,000/$411,000
Walter Restrepo $125,000/$139,500
CJ Sapong $225,000/$225,000
-- budget space empty --
-- budget space empty --

Off Budget

Andre Blake $100,000/$138,000**
Fabian Herbers $100,000/$125,500**#
Josh Yaro $130,000/$194,000**#
Eric Ayuk $62,500/$62,500#
Cole Missimo $51,500/$51,500

Keegan Rosenberry $62,500/$63,750
Ken Tribbett $51,500/$51,500
Taylor Washington $51,500/$51,500


Michael Lahoud $110,00/$115,637 (season-long lone to New York Cosmos)

* designated player; ** Generation Adidas; # international


Salary Budget (Players 1-20): $4,523,000/$4,820,435
Full Budget (Players 1-28): $5,132,500/$5,674,322
All salary expenses (inc. loans): $5,242,500/$5,674,322

Some observations on the numbers:

- The big numbers we all wanted to see pertained to what the Union paid for their newest players, knowing none of their offseason acquisitions were designated players and leaving Maurice Edu as still the only Union player in that category. Ilsinho is above the designated player threshold ($457,500) in his guaranteed compensation of $478,333, but his base salary budget charge is paid down to under the threshold at $430,000. Roland Alberg is just under the $400k mark. Anderson is making just over $150,000, while Walter Restrepo is under that figure.

- The big dollar figure change compared to last season is CJ Sapong, who signed a new three-year deal in February. His old deal paid him $140,000. He’s up to $225,000 this season. Vincent Nogueira is another big mover, having made $330,000 last year, $70,000 less than this season.

- Chris Pontius made a hair under $400k last season with D.C. This year, he’s up to over $411,000 in compensation, an increase of $15k. That’s a fairly standard increase, echoing the elevators in the deals of Tranquillo Barnetta, Andre Blake, Warren Creavalle and Edu. Ray Gaddis’ salary increased by $20k.

- For the veterans, Sebastien Le Toux penned a new deal that sees his salary increase $25,000 to a $300k base. Fabinho enjoyed a significant increase in his new deal, going from $118,500 in guaranteed compensation to $142,000. Brian Carroll, however, took a paycut from $150,000 to $120,000

- It’s fairly clear the emphasis the Union have put on the midfield. Their top seven earners (Alberg, Barnetta, Edu, Ilsinho, Le Toux, Nogueira, Pontius) are all in the center of the pitch. Barring a change in philosophy that reallocates Edu to central defense when he returns AND an injury to Sapong pushing Le Toux or Pontius up top, it’s difficult to conceive of all those guys being on the field simultaneously.

- By contrast, the defense is a relative area of thriftiness. Anderson has the highest budget charge of the entire backline contingent, all eight of them. Ken Tribbett is a low minimum earner at $51,500, while Richie Marquez and Keegan Rosenberry are high minimums at $63,000. Josh Yaro outearns Rosenberry and Marquez together at $194,000 ($130,000 budget charge), though that’s subsidized through the Generation Adidas program that he, Blake and Fabian Herbers are in.

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