Henry and Keane sit atop 2013 MLS salary list

ThierryHenryColumbusCrew5.4.13. (New York Red Bulls)

By DAN KARELL

The Major League Soccer Players Union released on Monday their first list of player and team salaries for 2013, and it’s not a huge surprise who is at the top of the list.

Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls remains the top earner in the league, bringing in a total of $4.35 million in guaranteed compensation ($3.75m base) this season. Behind him is Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane, who has a base salary of $4 million. Though it is higher than Henry’s number, Keane’s total compensation is just underneath the former France international at $4.33 million.

Not far behind those two are Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill ($3.625m total), Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan ($2.5m total), and Montreal Impact forward Marco Di Vaio ($1.94m total). Newly-signed Seattle Sounders forward Obafemi Martins ($1.725m total), Toronto FC forward Danny Koevermans ($1.66m total), and Vancouver Whitecaps target man Kenny Miller ($1.13m total) round out the seven-figure earners in MLS.

This year’s first overall pick Andrew Farrell of the New England Revolution earns a base salary of $80,000 but is due to receive twice that number with bonuses and other contractual add-ons. The smallest salary is a paltry $35,125, with a total of 62 players around the league earning that total, including first-year players Adam Jahn of the San Jose Earthquakes and Clint Irwin of the Colorado Rapids.

Here’s a closer breakdown of this season’s MLS salaries:

Top ten salaries in MLS (by total salary):

1. Thierry Henry – New York Red Bulls – $4,350,000
2. Robbie Keane – LA Galaxy – $4,333,333.33
3. Tim Cahill – New York Red Bulls – $3,620,000
4. Landon Donovan – LA Galaxy – $2,500,000
5. Marco Di Vaio – Montreal Impact – $1,937,508
6. Obafemi Martins – Seattle Sounders – $1,725,000
7. Danny Koevermans – Toronto FC – $1,663,323.33
8. Kenny Miller – Vancouver Whitecaps – $1,132,492
9. Fredy Montero* – Seattle Sounders – $856,000
10. David Ferreira – FC Dallas – $730,000
11. Dwayne DeRosario – D.C. United – $645,333.00
12. Federico Higuain – Columbus Crew – $604,000
13. Chris Wondolowski – San Jose Earthquakes – $600,000
14. Shalrie Joseph – Seattle Sounders – $599,333
15. Sherjill MacDonald – Chicago Fire – $527,115
16. Kleberson – Philadelphia Union – $495,000
17. Darren O’Dea – Toronto FC – $456,250
18. Alvaro Saborio – Seal Salt Lake – $453,333
19. Kalifa Cisse – New England Revolution – $445,000
20. Diego Valeri – Portland Timbers – $400,000
*On loan to Millonarios (Colombia).

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124 Responses to Henry and Keane sit atop 2013 MLS salary list

  1. Travis says:

    The fact that any pro player in the MLS makes $35k is sad to me. In some parts of the US that is not very much to live on at all (LA, NY, Seattle for example). Salary cap needs to be pushed up in part to push up minimum salary. If you want to be taken seriously need to get the finances sorted.

    • dan says:

      it was worse before the current CBA

      • Travis says:

        Ya it was around like $27k or something right?

        • Chris Whyte says:

          I thought it was $17k not that long ago.

          • nato says:

            Yeah it was 17 K. very depressing

            • marcus b says:

              Here’s an interesting article on Greg Klazura (the whitecaps backup right bac) and what it’s like to try and live in an expensive city on $35 K

              link to theprovince.com

              • dcpohl says:

                I distinctly remember Troy Perkins having to work at a Dick’s Sporting Goods in addition to DC United just to pay the bills.

              • Rory says:

                I think Grant Wahl’s Beckham book mentions that four guys lived together in LA to make ends meet, 3 Galaxy players and a Chivas player!

              • ThaDeuce says:

                Roar, I guess the point of that story is Beckham was paid more than 4 players you can’t name. That sounds right to me, for obvious reasons.

              • ThaDeuce says:

                At dcpohl, we all start out somewhere, even the great ones. Look at Mr. selfridge! Jk

            • Borna says:

              It is not depressing.It is like a movie.There are MAJOR STARS and supporting actors.Do not forget that those “underpaid”players have to prove that they worth more.For me everything is fair.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        A CBA or two ago — in the first reserve team era — entry level was like $10K with the more competitive reserves in the $30Ks. It went up to $35K-ish minimum because teams like PR Islanders were advancing into CCL (and embarrassing us) using teams of borderline MLSers who they could attract by offering higher minor league salaries than we’d give for reserves. I think after the most recent CBA veteran reservists can get into the $40Ks.

        In terms of cap it’s immaterial because players 20-30 don’t count on the cap, I think it’s just the first 20 slots. In terms of the teams, I think they could afford maybe $40K minimum and be fine.

        But what is the competitive pressure for a salary increase, in terms of outside influence? By now MLS reservists probably make more than 95% of minor leaguers. You can no longer play the two off each other, and let’s be real, should I player who might very well need to go to San Antonio or Richmond to find PT, be earning that much more than the minor league people he’s being loaned to? That’s really more his baseline.

        Ideally it should be more, but realistically now that we pay more than the minors, and are not being embarrassed by minor league teams doing better regionally than us, what’s the pressure to up salaries for people who rarely play and often get loaned out?????????????

    • Josh D says:

      ~$35K is a decent first salary for most coming out of college these days. I see nothing wrong with it. Especially as you’re working for 8 months of the year and with the prospects of six figures if you’re worth it, after a couple years. It makes people appreciate money.

      • Taylor says:

        agreed. i love the lack of ego in MLS, unlike every other American sport. makes for more hard working athletes who really care about more than just money

        • 1 says:

          35 K is slave wages. I’m sure players in Guatemala are paid more than that. Are these guys given stipends for housing or cars or meals? I honestly doubt it

          Make the minimum 75 K within 5 years and keep it like that. That’s a wage they can survive on.

          • ThaDeuce says:

            But can the league survive on that? Would you rather have the league we have now, where people are paid salaries to play sports, or no league at all. It is a business after all.

            Just like any working American, soccer players must decide if taking a second job, or changing careers, makes sense. If you suck you don’t deserve 75k. Just like all house painters aren’t master painters, and don’t deserve 75k. Again, maybe they work hard and get better and get more money, or maybe they change careers. Should all house painters make 75k a year? In the end the owner decides what to pay his players to stay in business. How much to invest to keep a star or let one go and get a young kid or whatever. If he doesn’t pay the kid enough, the kid can go somewhere else, change careers, or prove himself in this one and demand more pay.

            • ThaDeuce says:

              Finally, no one is forcing anyone to play soccer for 35k, the player signs the contract as well. He has other options. whether they are better or worse depends on his current level of experience and knowledge in any other fields. Maybe this wage beats burger flipping. Maybe he’d rather make 35k and play soccer than 45k and be a professor. Maybe he doesn’t want to go 100ks in debt for a Ph.D. 35k is actually a nice wage to some people, and a great one to start out with in any career with advancement opportunities. Every career has it’s own unique perks and risks.

              • Rory says:

                Teachers make roughly $35 K starting pay in many places in this country. And yeah, most of those places have cheaper living costs than big cities, but teachers also have to work on their masters and that can cost 10-15k a year so there’s that.

              • Petedela says:

                Exactly. And let’s not forget. These guys are young, doing something (I hope) they love. The cream will rise to the top. The rest will at least be able to say they gave it a shot at a high level and played against legends like Henry and Beckham. I do feel bad for those guys who don’t get a legitimate shot– be it crappy coach, crappy squad with bad morale, or prolonged injury issues. But that’s another issue.

          • Sly boy says:

            Slave wages….. Wow, cut the hyperbole. I am 27, and make 34k and live marin county ca, one of the richest counties in country, and I am fine, in fact after rent and all bills are paid I still save 800-900 dollars a month to put in MY SAVINGS! it’s not a lavish wage, but by no means is it slave wages for 20 something

          • Wagner says:

            Silly comment. Yeah it’s low but so are lots of people salaries out of school. They play a game 10 months a year and work about 5 hours a day.

          • FSegaud says:

            For a fair comparison, what is a player at the end of the bench on a Guatemalan club making these days?

            • The Imperative Voice says:

              Amen. A first round pick in the draft makes $100K or more. We’re talking about players drafted later (or free agents) who might be 20, 25, 30 spot on a team that can only dress 18. Sort of people you have to loan out to get playing time.

              • Rory says:

                Want the kids to make more money? Go to more games, take some friends with you, buy more jerseys, watch more games on TV. If you’re picked to be Nielsen family, fill that darn book with lies about how many people come over to watch soccer (yes, I do this relentlessly–because of my efforts according to Nielson soccer on tv is a huge party gathering happening in rural Kentucky!).

          • Ben says:

            I think 35 K is quite fair for guys on the bottom rung. The minimum for AAA baseball players is 2150 a month, and frankly, relative to the pyramid of world soccer, a league minimum guy in MLS is not the equivalent of a AAA baseball player (frankly, an everyday MLS starter who isn’t a star is probably the equivalent of a AAA baseball player if we’re assuming that the big European leagues are the equivalent of MLB).

          • Nate Dollars says:

            “35 K is slave wages”

            what the hell is wrong with you?

            • The Imperative Voice says:

              It to me is an adjunct of the pro/rel arguments, we should imitate foreign leagues in every way, including structure and salary.

              • Rory says:

                That’s what’s wrong with kids today, all these OWS types wanting to be mid-level management types the day they walk out of their overpriced colleges. Too good for a starting position, not worth even that.

              • ThaDeuce says:

                Well said Roar.

              • The Imperative Voice says:

                Rory:
                In all fairness, you want that fire but not the full attitude. My fish college year it took 3 games for my college coach to start me, and I thought it should have been game 1. When I was subbed in, in the first 2 games, I would tackle anything that moved I was so peeved.

                And my experience with the Dynamo is Taylor took a year to elevate from bench to starter., and to me it was obvious day 1 he was our best pure defender. Kinnear had him sitting behind the rather forgettable Corey Ashe for a long time…..

                So I see both sides of the argument. I just think the average draftee should maybe be earning a little more than a minors salary, in this market, with current US soccer economics. Seattle could probably afford to pay better, but do I legislate that on down to Chivas and DC? I dunno.

        • JCC says:

          More money will eventually bring more ego though, so enjoy it while it lasts.

      • Karim says:

        35K may be a decent salary in Kansas City for a college grad (I don’t know), but in San Jose it is appalling. Poor Adam Jahn probably still has roommates to make ends meet! And seeing how he was a late pickup and is a Stanford grad, he very nearly could have been lost. Makes me think that MLS is losing other kids like Jahn who could perform but can’t quite roll the dice on the 35K turning into something more when they could go into banking, accounting, construction, or even the hospitality industry and immediately make more.

        • slyboy says:

          uhm… 35k will go a LONG way in San Jose, housing prices are lower there than in San Francisco, Marin County and Most of the East Bay, and as a resident of the bay area how makes roughly that much I can attest to being able to live just fine and even have enough to go on the occasional vacation.

          • Rory says:

            Poor kid in his twenties has to have a roomate? We better get Sally Struther’s on this immediately!

        • Joe+G says:

          And having roommates in this situation is bad how? Most of the unmarried players I see in the league have roommates … it just makes sense, especially if you don’t plan on staying in the city full-time.

          Don’t most recent college grads have roommates for the 1st couple of years? I know they do here in Boston.

      • APK says:

        Eh, I don’t know. $35K feels pretty draconian to me. Considering the sacrifices a professional athlete makes, the number is abysmal. I don’t know how one can live off of that in major city. Consider all the things one needs nowadays to be at the top of one’s game: excellent quality food, rest, efficient transportation, etc. $35K doesn’t provide for these things, which leads to stress and diminishes the athlete’s ability truly to focus and perform. Bottom line, if we really want American soccer players to compete internationally, we must pay them accordingly so that there is every opportunity for them to focus on their trade in the most complete sense. I concur with what “1” says below: $75K is more in line. Probably even $100K would be appropriate.

        • ThaDeuce says:

          Crazy town.

          1. The team takes care of nutrition.

          2. Every job has sacrifices, pros and cons.

          3. Should all farmers make 75? They have a top 3 most dangerous job in America, and they fill a primary need (food) not a secondary one (entertainment).

          4. Who should decide player pay?

          5. Why do you think you know better than the businessmen, coaches, staff, and investors.

          6. If you pay 75k per player instead of 35k, it won’t be the same players. It’s a worldwide market and 75k buys a different player than 35k. Lots of 35k players would be in different careers without the opportunity mls provides for them.

          7. Young third round draft picks may never have a shot to make a roster and see if they can succeed at that price. Less entry opportunity.

          8. The league is doing fine on it’s current trajectory. Wages seem to be going up. As wages go up, there will be better (and different- it will be a more competitive market) players, better teams, and more prima Donna drama.
          Right now is a great time to watch the league. It’s young, it’s gritty, sometimes sloppy, and unpredictable. In the near future as MLS comes of age I expect a massive influx of foreign players to arrive, scout and be scouted.

      • Ceez says:

        I’m sorry but your comment is ridiculous in that it doesn’t take some basics into consideration.

        It’s a decent first salary for an “average” participant in the economy (and by average I mean ‘non-athlete’) whose working years can range upwards into the 30 to 40 year marks. ATHLETES, however, don’t have careers that span that long — not even close. They need to maximize their earnings as much as they can because injuries and wear-and-tear will cut their working years to under 10-15 years, and that’s speaking for the good-to-great athletes. True, some last longer than that but MANY MORE don’t even make it to 10-15 years.

        Now, imagine getting paid 35,000 a year as an athlete out of college knowing that you’ve got less than 3 years to make heads turn in your direction or it’s bust. We’re talking about 105,000 in those 3 years and then it’s “so long, good luck in your future endeavors”.

        Yeah. Good luck is right.

        • Ceez says:

          My point? RAISE THE SALARY CAP. It’s time for a significant raise and not just pennies every year. It’s at 2.95 million now. For a whole team!! That’s absurd. I say 4 or 5 million should be a good, decent cap every team can work with to significantly improve the quality of play throughout the whole league.

        • ThaDeuce says:

          It’s called night school.

          Seriously, athletes have to plan ahead, just like the rest of us. Working and providing for a family is a challenge for non athletes as well. I think it’s a good idea for everyone to plan ahead for the worst case, you get fired, scenario. Obviously Dan Woolard needs to be thinking about his 5 year plan more than Andy Najar. Maybe he learns how to coach, maybe his father in law is a plumber, maybe he goes back to school. My question is, why do you assume an athlete’s working life is over after his sports career is over?

    • Travis says:

      Guys if you want to entice the best athletes in this country to become soccer players you can’t be offering only 35k as the starting salary. Even the worst players in other sports in this country make like 500k. I get that in some jobs you make about 35k as a starting wage but in those jobs you haven’t generally spent the like 10-15 years of your life doing that activity as a major part of your life. A number like 45k sounds a lot more reasonable to me and it shouldn’t ruin teams.

      • Travis says:

        the previous 10-15 years*

        • ThaDeuce says:

          *A number like 45k sounds a lot more reasonable to me and it shouldn’t ruin teams.

          Reasonable to who? You? Are you associated with the game like an MLS coach? A businessman with a successful investing record and has studied the MLS business model? An economist who has studied the American soccer markets?

          All three might give different answers to the question, “what should minimum MLS wages be,” but none of them would give your answer.

          So, where does money come from?

          Does it come from trees?

          • Travis says:

            Overreact much? This entire site is based off opinions and I just throw out a reasonable sounding number and you blow a gasket. Of course the number is reasonable to me, I’m the one who suggested it. Money would clearly need to come from the owners, no need for the condescending sarcasm.

            • ThaDeuce says:

              I didn’t use caps, I just think your opinion is garbage in this instance. Being this is an opinion site I expressed it, obviously I did a good job.

  2. Beto says:

    15/19 teams have a player in the top 20.. Just chivas, colorado, houston and kc. Pretty good mls.

    • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

      Especially when you see that 2 out of 4 of those teams are competitive

      • Beto says:

        +1 and the other two are doing okay; well at least Colorado is…

        Houston and KC were most of ppl’s eastern conference picks, just shows there is more than one way to build a sucessful team

    • Neruda says:

      Yes and Graham Zusi is worth more than all of these in the top 20 in terms of on field performance.

      Still when it get’s under a million you start to see a wide disparity between salaries. This top 20 lists goes from 4.3 mil to 400k. The first four earners are from NY and LA while Seattle has 3 players in the top 20. This highlights the large market teams that spend big.

  3. ChiTown says:

    Dilly Duka makes HOW much?

  4. R. Burgandy says:

    How much does Ives make?

  5. ChiTown says:

    The following players make more than Graham Zusi (173):

    Dilly Duka
    Marcelo Sarvas
    Kevin Alston
    Saer Sene
    Kelyn Rowe (about the same)
    Rodrigo Digao (who?))
    Olave
    Heath Pearce
    Conor Casey
    Jack Macinerney
    Bakarey Soumare
    Carlos Valdes
    Robbie Findley
    Nat Borchers
    Luis Gil
    The entire Sounders attacking lineup.

    That’s like half of them.

    • MC says:

      If they want to keep him and pay him fair value, Zusi needs to be made a DP for SKC. Pay him in the top 20 at least.

    • Dos says:

      Is this a case of Zusi keeping himself cheap and staying on current deal in preparation for a move abroad? Similar to when George John didn’t re up right away when he was going out on trials abroad?

      Still wild though!

  6. euroman says:

    Only 3 of the top 20 came up through MLS. Spot a tread…if Wondo were foreign or had an agent he would be making 10 million.

    • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

      4 actually Wondo, Donovan, DeRo, Joseph

      But your point is valid. The thing is that the best paid Americans except Wondo and Donovan are overseas. A lot of players who came up through MLS are making big bucks overseas now:

      Cameron
      Bradley
      Dempsey
      Howard
      Jozy
      Guzan
      Shea
      Goodson
      Beasley
      Gomez

      • Beto says:

        Im all for MLS developing and selling top Americans/Canadians but only 3 of the top 20 represent the two nations; Donovan, DeRo and Wondo.

        If they want to stay here i hope MLS clubs make Zusi, Gonzalez, Besler, EJ and other future CNT & USNT player the top earners in the league.

        I bet if they ended the national teamer allocation rule and added a domestic dp spot a lot would change.

        • jspech says:

          really, how is this league going to get better by selling the best players? Wonder why ratings r low

          • Rory says:

            I kind of hope they get to keep all those players at a low wage then sell them for a huge profit. Sorry, I’d just like to see the league exist in the future after the expansion money dries up .

      • Jozy has scored 30 goals all season says:

        most of our Yanks are making six figures overseas with a few in the seven figure range

  7. Dinho says:

    Michael Stephens makes $106K. What!?!?!?

    • Catamount says:

      I was actually happy to see this. I’m not huge on Mikey, but he has put in a few years and has received incremental increases. That means that people like Cochrane, Villareal, McBean, etc. can say, “Hey, see what happened to Mikey.”

      Mikey may not be around much longer as young players pass him up. I see this as growth. Looking at the LA salaries, I think Bruce has done a nice job of keeping his key players happy for one more year. There are other teams where I look at the salary distribution and I say…What!???

      I would rather see Omar as the DP than getting someone like Lampard. Hopefully Chelsea makes a manager change and Bruce, Chris, etc, decide to pay Omar.

      Before the CBA the minimum salary was 15K. The Galaxy had a player cleaning Beckham’s pool to make ends meet. THAT was slave wages. There were players who turned down MLS contracts to play in the ASL and NASL. Before they add any more DPs (5 would be about the right number), I hope they get the minimum up to a solid 50K. That is a place that the minimum could stay for a while as long as the maximum keeps rising.

  8. Sebastian Le Drew says:

    Kleberson: $495,000
    Soumare: $350,000

    Philly: The most expensive seat warmers in the league

    It’s cool if the Hack wants to play “his guys” but those 2 guys alone could add up to one really nice signing that might just challenge Daniel, Cruz, or Carroll for a starting position.

    • LIUnited says:

      Philly is paying Kleberson $495,000 so Adu is 4,000 miles away. That is how much they will spend to keep Adu away from their team.

  9. Dos says:

    Is Hackworth still ‘working Kleberson towards a 90 minute situation?’ Ha!

  10. Jozy has scored 30 goals all season says:

    Donovan is not worth 2.5million a year

    He should make half of that, and maybe a million more in endorsements.

    Minimum league salary should be 75 K a year for rookies and reserve players. we need players to know they can make say 100-200 K if they’re decent players. that way you don’t have average players like Rolfe leaving MLS for 400-500 K a season in Denmark of all places.

    Robbie Findley was making 100 K before he left MLS. At Nottingham in the 2nd division England, im sure he was making 500 K, maybe more being a WC veteran

    • jon says:

      donovan is a steal for galaxy at 2.5 mill. put aside that they won the last two mls cups with him (and i really doubt they win it without dononvan), his jersey sales probly pay for a huge chunk of the pay.

      • Neruda says:

        Yea but think of all the money LA would be getting from those knock-off jerseys that just say CAKES on the back.

    • Catamount says:

      Wow! Can’t think of a more ridiculous comment. Every way you slice it LD is worth at least twice that to the Galaxy. Why do you think all these outstanding youngsters are signing with the Galaxy? LD pays back in recruiting home grown players, he pays back in championships, he pays back in leadership (including breaking the deadlock on the last CBA), he pays back in manning up to prima donna’s like Beckham, he pays back by mentoring youngsters, he pays back in merchandise,…add your own payback here.

      Donovan is actually worth far more to the Galaxy than he is to anyone else in the world. He’s really not a commodity anymore like most players are.

      • Rory says:

        What’s the “breaking the deadlock on the CBA” from? I haven’t read about his leadership role in the CBA but would like to.

  11. Brian S. says:

    Is there not a league minimum for veterans? How is Ching only making $50k?

    • 1 says:

      took a big paycut to return to DYnamo last season. I guess he’s soon to retire so they got him on lesser wages.

      This is why our players need to play abroad. A guy like CHING internationally aka EMILE HESKEY would be making millions in France or England. Heck Ching could be making 400-500,000 a year if he played in Belgium or Denmark even if he scored 8 goals a season

      • David s. says:

        WRT Ching, I think technically he’s a ‘player-coach’ this season, which probably means he’s also earning something under his ‘coaching’ hat, ie,the 50K isn’t all of his compensation from the Dynamo, just as a ‘player’. (FWIW, I believe the NBA no longer allows this practice for fear it would be used to circumvent salary cap rules.)

    • RK says:

      If there were a high minimum for vets, Ching would be out of job.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Ching was making $400K at peak but has taken successive paycuts to $200K (last year) and $50K (this year) to stay playing. I think he is destined for coaching or FO here. Sooner the better based on performance, IMO. At least he’s not costing us what I feared…for example, Weaver gets $100K and he’s not scored in two years.

      The mindblowing one for me is Cummings makes $240K to rehab his knee here. When I grumble about our forwards here, that’s $400K in do-nothing veterans signed last offseason, $500K if you throw Carr in. We’re also paying a rookie high five figures who sits behind Ching and Weaver while they do little more than take up space.

  12. 1 says:

    how much do players make from endorsements?

    Donovan? Ching? Shea?

    i’m sure some must make 10 or 20 or 50,000 a grand a year from local affiliates especially in smaller markets

  13. Socom 2 says:

    Shalrie Joseph – Seattle Sounders – $599,333 – REFUND

    • Travis says:

      Sounders aren’t paying all of it, they are using the DP slot but Chivas are paying a decent chunk of the salary

  14. orions belt says:

    i’m sure Keane and Cahill are making probably 75% of what they were making in England. That’s not bad considering the currency exchange

    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

      If Keane’s salary is 4,333,333, that is over 83k per week. That would probably put him as the highest earner at around 10-12 premier league clubs and among the highest at the rest. He is making very good money.

      • ChiTown says:

        83,000 dollars is 53,000 pounds.

        53,000 pounds a week is nowhere close to the top. Not even on the same planet.

        There are probably 20 players or more who make more than 200,000 dollars a week.

        They estimate that Carlos Tevez earns around 307,000 dollars a week.

    • Catamount says:

      As with all AEG signings, it isn’t the up front salary that matters, It’s the entire package. Robbie has a model wife, AEG is in the entertainment business. Worked out well for Beckham, on a smaller scale for Robbie. Lampard also has a wife who has value to an entertainment company. These are not accidents. Hmm… Now that I think about it. Who could we get for Omar…? Hmmm….

  15. K-Town says:

    All the posters commenting on overseas salaries haven’t once mentioned taxes.

    • JCC says:

      US citizens have to pay US taxes on their foreign income even if they live abroad so I’m sure US players get screwed royally in this department since they’re getting taxed twice.

      • orions belt says:

        our govt sucks when it comes to taxes

      • Northzax says:

        I believe the point was that taxes would be higher in Europe than the us. Most eu countries have top tax brackets in the 40-50 percent range. That’s as much as double the rate in the US, depending on the state. Also, given the exemptions for us citizens overseas, it’s quite rare to actually owe Uncle Sam anything if you’re living in a country with an actual tax regime. (Capital gains, of course, is different)

        • JCC says:

          That’s incorrect. If you make more than $100,000 you have pay income tax to the US on foreign earned income. It’s one of the reasons you have a growing number of people renouncing US citizenship, and I’m not talking about billionaires here.

          link to world.time.com

          • Northzax says:

            Depends on the income. If you pay income tax, you may choose to either take the $100k deduction or a credit for Foreign Tax Paid. (See IRS publication 514 for the nitty gritty details if you wish) if you made $200k and paid $90k in tax to say, Denmark, you can take either the $100k deduction from your income or a $90k credit (up to what you would owe) on your us taxes. Of course this only includes earned income as defined by the IRS (basically wages and tips) and excludes those living in boycott states (last I checked, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Syria maybe a few others)

            • Rory says:

              Wasn’t this once an issue with NBA players not wanting to play for Canadian teams… that the tax hit was unfair for a league with a rookie wage scale?

    • Brian S. says:

      Some European leagues (such as France) pay net wages to their footballers so if they pay 50% tax and their salary is, let’s say $5 million, the team would actually pay $10 million. The teams take the huge tax hit and not necessarily the player.

  16. master red card says:

    I wonder how Henry celebrated his cinco de mayo.

  17. Dennis says:

    I would support an increase in the minimum as well, because 35k isn’t enough when you risk damaging your body so much. A 10-year MLS career that maxes out around 70k/year for doing permanent damage, potentially, to one’s knees and skull? That’s a rough deal.

    • Rory says:

      Yeah that’s a pretty rough deal… but nothing like a coal miner who has to risk his life, his lungs, his back, his knees, all that for 50k a year in 12 month job.

  18. joey d says:

    mls has to change, the salaries for professional soccer players are a joke, how is mls supposed to compete with other sports in the usa when the starting salary is 35,000 compared to footballs 500,000 starting salary and especially soccer teams in europe.

    • Frank says:

      35,000 isn’t unreasonable for those developmental players that will only see action in reserve games for the first couple of years. There is an expectation that they will do other things (coaching youth soccer). I do think that contracts should be heavily performance based to allow players who earn more PT to make more money.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I don’t think the salaries for the last players in the locker room matter one bit to the general fan or the media. I think that number is more relevant to the player pool for the minors.

      If you want to impact the quality of teams in a way fans will notice, it’s the overall cap number plus the cap exceptions you allow, which would permit teams to bring in top-end players in more demand — or to gather more quality players on one team — which would create a combination of improved play for snobs and increased buzz for casual fans. But then you have to factor in economic health, whether the cap increases would trickle down to ticket price hikes, parity, etc.

  19. Alexandria says:

    How can he make it in Vancouver on 35k. There are people in Vancouver making it on less and they dont have a chance to have the upward mobiliry he has. Take Chris Pontius entered the league make 70k now five years later he’s making over 300k. Thats what happens you work your butt off you can make a good living. So do I feel MLS should waste money on unprovem talent and give them more than anyother entry level position NO. Things arent handed to you in life and neither should a six figure contract until the bottom level guys raise their games the salaries cant go up.. Heck even the mighty NFL only pays practice squad players between 50-90k.

  20. ChiTown says:

    35,000 is very unreasonable for a city like NY or LA or CHI or San Jose. You live with other people at a minimum. Forget affording a car.

  21. Cairo says:

    Best Values on that list, for me anyway: Higuain at 600K and Saborio for 400K. If I were picking my MLS All Star Team, I would build around these guys. That said, I’m sure $600K is a nice chunk of change in Columbus.

    If I were MLS, I would increase the salary cap enough that the minimum could be $50K. Surely there is some other area to adjust (maybe reduce the number of DPs?) so that players are making a decent living relative to the physical risks that they are making.

    On the other side, I watch he highlights of every game, every week, and there are so many empty seats in these stadiums–even at places with new, pretty stadiums (such as Houston and RBNY). With the exception of Seattle, Portland, and KC, the weak crowds look bad on tv… That’s gotta get solved before ANY real growth can happen…

    • DJ777 says:

      The empty seats dont matter as much as the money made on TV deals.
      once the MLS gets better TV deals, then the salaries will be raised.
      I like Henry, but if the MLS were to divide his salary up and spread it across the league,???

  22. ThaDeuce says:

    I get the feeling, just a hunch, that a lot of the people talking about how unreasonable certain wages aren’t in the work force.

    • slyboy says:

      Pretty much the feeling I am getting too, either that or they have become accustomed to nice six figure incomes.

  23. jspech says:

    so MLS is asking for $11mil more for NYC2 than they are paying all players in the league. Ha, ha ha