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MLS millionaire club continues to grow
by Paul Kennedy, April 25th, 2017 7:28PM
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TAGS:  kaka, mls


For the third year in a row, Brazilian Kaka is the highest-paid player in MLS. The Orlando City star, who has been sidelined since the start of the season, earns $7,168,000 in guaranteed compensation in figures released by the MLS Player Union. The ranks of MLS's millionaires have grown to 28 players, almost double the number three years ago.

MLS Millionaires:
2017 (28)
2016 (24)
2015 (23)
2014 (15)
2013 (9)
2012 (12)

Eight new MLS signings, headed by Chicago's Bastian Schweinsteiger, are in the millionaire club. Five players received compensation increases, moving them into the $1 million-plus range.

MLS Millionaire Club (2017):
1. Kaka (2015), Orlando City, $7.168 million

2. Sebastian Giovinco (2015), Toronto FC, $7.116 million
3. Michael Bradley (2014), Toronto FC, $6.5 million
4. Andrea Pirlo (2015), New York City FC, $5.915 million
5. David Villa (2015), New York City FC, $5.61 million
6. Giovani Dos Santos (2015), LA Galaxy, $5.5 million
7. Bastian Schweinsteiger (2017), Chicago Fire, $5.4 million
8. Jozy Altidore (2015), Toronto FC, $4.875 million
9. Clint Dempsey (2013), Seattle Sounders, $3.892 million
10. Diego Valeri (2013), Portland Timbers, $2.607 million
11. Tim Howard (2016), Colorado Rapids, $2.475 million
12. Miguel Almiron (2017), Atlanta United, $2.297 million
13. Maxi Moralez (2017), New York City FC, $2 million
14. Romain Alessandrini (2017), LA Galaxy, $1.999 million
15. Yura Movsisyan (2016), Real Salt Lake, $1.973 million
16. Nemanja Nikolic (2017), Chicago Fire, $1.906 million
17. Fredy Montero (2017), Vancouver Whitecaps, $1.8 million
18. Nicolas Lodeiro (2016), Seattle Sounders, $1.743 million
19. Fanendo Adi (2014), Portland Timbers, $1.736 million
20. Shkelzen Gashi (2016), Colorado Rapids, $1.668 million
21. Bradley Wright-Phillips (2013), NY Red Bulls, $1.635 million
22. Alejandro Bedoya (2016), Philadelphia Union, $1.197 million
23. Osvaldo Alonso (2009), Seattle Sounders, $1.141 million
24. Sebastian Blanco (2017), Portland Timbers, $1.075 million
25. Federico Higuain (2012), Columbus Crew, $1.05 million
26. Kevin Doyle (2015), Colorado Rapids, $1.045 million
27. Josef Martinez (2017), Atlanta United, $1.041 million
28. *Lucas Melano (2015), Portland Timbers, $1.010 million
Note: In bold are players who were MLS millionaires in 2016.

MLS's guaranteed compensation number includes a player's base salary and all signing and guaranteed bonuses, plus any agent's fees, annualized over the term of the player's contract, including option years. The average annual guaranteed compensation figure does not include performance bonuses because there is no guarantee that the player will hit those bonuses.

  1. Craig Cummings
    commented on: April 25, 2017 at 10:41 p.m.
    How many Americans in this group? 4 Not enough.
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 5:22 a.m.
    Who should be in that is not in now?
  1. Quarterback TD
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 8:24 a.m.
    US has a growing number in Europe so in time we will see the numbers rise as they return to state side. How is Jozy making more than Clint ? Is it because of Canadian taxes he may have requested more ? As much as I think Kaka is a good player he has been an injury prone players from day one. I think only in soccer clubs take those risks of signing injury prone players.
  1. :: SilverRey ::
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 9:43 a.m.
    His shirt sales have already paid off his salary
  1. J Fox
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 8:24 a.m.
    Actually, there are 5 Americans but still not enough. And the minimum salary of $53,000 needs to be increased substantially in the next collective bargaining agreement. Shouldn't be less than $100K.
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 10:41 a.m.
    I think it's 60k for players on a full MLS contract but you're right that it needs to increase. That is League Two level compensation if you want to compare it to England.
  1. Bob Ashpole
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 7:51 p.m.
    I counted 6. Alonzo is a Cuban refugee and became a US citizen 5 years ago. Also he is a defensive midfielder. A Hollywood type success story. There may be others on the list.
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 9:04 a.m.
    j fox are you sure the minimum salary is 53 thousand? I heard some where it's 36 thousand. 100k Mickey mantle made a 100k. I had a player who played in Seria B in Italy on a bottom tier team before the start of the mls he made 100 thousand. A lot of bad college kids go to the mls the first year and don't last in the mls they should make 100k?
  1. Peter Collins
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 10:12 a.m.
  1. J Fox
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 10:41 a.m.
    Come on, that was 1963! These are professional athletes, they shouldn't need a 2nd job during the week to make ends meet. Kaka makes $7MM and the guy two lockers down makes $53K? That's embarassing!
  1. frank schoon
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 10:09 a.m.
    Unbelievable!! there are players on this list that I wouldn't even walk across the street to watch. Bedoya???, I'm shocked ,UNBELIEVABLE....
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 10:41 a.m.
    Yeah, we know, only Cruyff and Dutch players are worth watching. We get it.
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 1:37 p.m.
    That's generally true but only because you say the same things over and over.
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 11:02 a.m.
    If I was on a team and I made 7 million a year. Then I heard a player made 53 thousand for a season, and I knew he was good and he helped the team win. I would give him another 100 thousand to help him out. I would also introduce him to a good sports agent. so whats a matter with all these guys worth millions to cheap to help a fellow player out?
  1. Fanfor soccer
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 11:33 a.m.
    Bradley is making $6.5 Mil and Dempsey is making $4 mil. Something wrong with that salary plan.
  1. Fire Paul Gardner Now
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 12:02 p.m.
    Perfect correlation between performance and salary doesn't exist in any pro sport.
  1. don Lamb
    commented on: April 27, 2017 at 12:14 a.m.
    You are not taking their age into consideration. Bradley has many more years left than Dempsey, which affects their values.
  1. A Brewer
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 1:03 p.m.
    Actually there are 6 Americans on the list: Bedoya, Alonso, Howard, Dempsey, Bradley and Altidore. Alonso has been a US citizen since 2012. FIFA / Cuba won't release him to play for the USMNT though. Which is a shame because he is the best American #6 we have.
  1. Glenn Maddock
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 4:06 p.m.
    If all you're going to do as a fan is watch on TV, then its easy to say increase the salaries! who cares who's spending the money. But if you don't want ticket prices to double, and keep this a family friendly league, which the NFL has failed to do, then watch out.
  1. Bob Ashpole
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 7:53 p.m.
    Good point Glenn, but salaries could be funded with TV revenues. Ticket prices are more a matter of supply and demand. In some cities corporations price out families.
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: April 26, 2017 at 10 p.m.
    Keeping ticket prices at an affordable level for families is a good long term investment. Anything else is not worth the price of admission.
  1. Nick Daverese
    commented on: April 28, 2017 at 2:04 a.m.
    The difference between the NFL and MLS. All the home games in the big NFL cities are sold out. People who own season tickets never give them up. They leave their season tickets in their wills to someone they know to get after they die. They even do that to tables in their favorite restraunts here in NYC like Rao's. You can sit at the bar, but you can get a table to eat a meal there. When someone dies they leave their table to someone in their family.

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