[MLS SPOTLIGHT]Twelve MLS players, led by Toronto FC's Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe at $6 million apiece, earn $1 million or more in base salaries, up from eight players a year ago.
MLS Player Union: Salary Information
Reflecting the increased outlays clubs are willing to make, six players on the top 20 list of highest base salaries were signed this year. They include Bradley and Maurice Edu, who both returned to MLS after stints in Europe.
Clint Dempsey($6,695,189), who arrived in August 2013, Bradley ($6,500,000) and Defoe ($6,180,000) rank 1-2-3 in the league in terms of 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. All contract figures reflect those signed with and reported by the league only.
-- Seven players on the Top 20 list are U.S. national team players, up from two a year ago. Dempsey, Bradley and Edu all returned to MLS in the last year, and Omar Gonzalez and Eddie Johnson were re-signed to new contracts.
-- Only one player on the list is not playing regularly. Colombian Andres Escobar, the highest-paid FC Dallas player with a base salary of $635,000, has played only 38 minutes since arriving on loan from Dynamo Kiev.
-- The Chicago Fire announced Thursday that it had re-signed 2013 MLS MVP Mike Magee to a new contract. His guaranteed compensation climbed to $417,500 in 2014 from $191,666.67 in 2013 when he started the season with the LA Galaxy.
Highest MLS Player Salaries (2014):
1. *Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) $6,000,000
1. *Jermaine Defoe(Toronto FC) $6,000,000
3. Clint Dempsey (Seattle) $4,913,004
4. Robbie Keane(LA Galaxy) $4,500,000
5. Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) $4,250,000
6. Thierry Henry (New York) $3,750,000
7. Tim Cahill (New York) $3,500,000
8. Obafemi Martins (Seattle) $1,620,000
9. Marco Di Vaio (Montreal) $1,500,000
10. *Gilberto (Toronto FC) $1,145,000
11. *Pedro Morales (Vancouver) $1,190,000
12. Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy) $1,000,000
13. Kenny Miller(Vancouver) $930,000
14. *Maurice Edu (Philadelphia) $650,000
15. *Andres Escobar (FC Dallas) $635,000
16. Chris Wondolowski (San Jose) $600,000
17. Federico Higuain (Columbus) $580,000
18. Eddie Johnson (D.C. United) $505,000
19. Diego Valeri (Portland) $500,000
20. Jose Goncalves (New England) $450,000
20. Mauro Rosales(Chivas USA) $450,000
*Moved to MLS in 2014.