By Paul Kennedy
The New York Red Bulls' Thierry Henry is again the highest-paid player in MLS and one of only eight players making more than $1 million a year in guaranteed compensation, which includes a player's base salary and all signing and guaranteed bonuses annualized over the term of the player's contract, including option years.
(Click here for the MLS Players Union's annual listing of salary information for all MLS players.)
Henry's $4,350,000 in guaranteed compensation is down from $5,600,000 in 2012.
The only newcomer to MLS's millionaires' club is Nigerian Obafemi Martins, who signed with Seattle in March.
Only two Americans rank in the top 20: Landon Donovan, who makes $2,500,000, and Chris Wondolowski, who was rewarded for his 27 goals in 2012 with a Designated Player contract bumping his salary to $600,000.
Every MLS team except Chivas USA has at least three players earning $200,000 or more in guaranteed compensation.
The offseason changes at Chivas USA has resulted in a massive cutback in compensation. All four players making more than $200,000 or more a year last season were let go, leaving goalie Dan Kennedy as the highest-paid player at only $192,500 a year. Only two other players -- Juan Agudelo ($175,000) and Tristan Bowen($156,364) -- make as much as $150,000 a year.
Top MLS Earners, 2013 Guaranteed Compensation:
COMPENSATION PLAYER, TEAM
$4,350,000 Thierry Henry, New York
$4,333,333 Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy
$3,625,000 Tim Cahill, New York
$2,500,000 Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy
$1,937,508 Marco Di Vaio, Montreal
$1,725,000 Obafemi Martins, Seattle
$1,663,323 Dan Koevermans, Toronto FC
$1,132,492 Kenny Miller, Vancouver
$856,000 *Fredy Montero, Seattle
$730,000 David Ferreira, FC Dallas
$645,333 Dwayne De Rosario, D.C. United
$604,000 Federico Higuain, Columbus
$600,000 Chris Wondolowski, San Jose
$599,333 Shalrie Joseph, Seattle
$527,115 Sherjill MacDonald, Chicago
$495,000 Kleberson, Philadelphia
$456,250 Darren O'Dea, Toronto FC
$453,333 Alvaro Saborio, Real Salt Lake
$445,000 Kalifa Cisse, New England
$400,000 Diego Valeri, Portland
*On loan to Millonarios (Colombia).
CONTINENTAL TIRE EXPANDS PRESENCE.Continental Tire extended its agreement with Soccer United Marketing to continue as an official partner and the official tire of MLS in the United States and Canada and announced a new partnership with U.S. Soccer.
Continental Tire will be the official tire of the MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup, extending its relationship with MLS, which began in 2010.
It will become an official sponsor and the official tire of all U.S. national teams.
“We are proud to extend our relationship with MLS and expand our soccer program in North America to now include U.S. Soccer and our national teams,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for Continental Tire. “Our partnership with MLS has been very beneficial. We have been able to expose our Continental brand and its array of high-quality, long-lasting tires to the passionate MLS audience. Soccer fans are like no other type of sports fan and we are pleased that they’ve been very receptive to our message.”
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