Commentary

Spending big money isn't paying in MLS

By Paul Kennedy

David Beckham is making $2.5 million less this year under the terms of his new agreement with the Los Angeles than he did last year when he was MLS's highest-paid player with $6,500,000.04 in guaranteed compensation.

The New York Red Bulls' Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez are now the highest-paid players in MLS with guaranteed compensation of $5,600,000 and $4,600,000, respectively.

Three of MLS's nine millionaires play for the last-place Galaxy: Beckham ($4,000,000), Robbie Keane (3,417,242.75) and Landon Donovan ($2,400,000), the lone American in MLS's millionaire club.

Three of the other millionaires play for FC Toronto, which is still without a point and in last place in the Eastern Conference: Thorsten Frings ($2,413,666.67), Julian de Guzman ($1,910,746) and Danny Koevermans ($1,563,323.33).

Scotsman Kris Boyd of Portland ($1,515,000) is the lone first-year MLS player making more than $1 million.

2012 MLS Player Salaries Alphabetical
2012 MLS Player Salaries Club

UNITED'S BRAND POWER. Manchester United might have missed out on the a trophy this year, but it remains soccer's biggest brand with an estimated worth $853 million, according to the latest Brand Finance rankings. Bayern Munich is No. 2 at $786 million. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea are 3-4-5. United, Real Madrid and Barca all got AAA+ ratings.

OUTTAKES. Watch Sergio Aguero, Mario Gomez and some of the world's greatest athletes as they make Puma's commercial unveiling the new evoSPEED collection.
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4 comments about "Spending big money isn't paying in MLS".
  1. Karl Ortmertl, May 26, 2012 at 12:12 p.m.

    Winning isn't everything. Particularly in the MLS. A segment of the soccer watching population in the US wants to see high quality players whether their team wins or loses. The last place Galaxy is a game that I would watch over the other MLS teams because it's got Beckham, Donovan and Keane. Same with the Red Bulls because they've got Henry and Marquez. Even Toronto, if for no other reason than curiosity as to how they've misused some high quality talent.

  2. David Sirias, May 26, 2012 at 1:14 p.m.

    Big names don't make pretty soccer. If more teams followed the RSL model the league would be better off. LAG was stupid to sign beckham again one or two nice balls every game does not make a team. The could have signed two espindola type players for the sand price . And Toronto management is just stupid Big names mean nothing if you have a minor league supporting cast. Red bull has had to scramble after it realized Marquez is just mailing it in. They could have brought in two Javier Morales type players for the same price

  3. I w Nowozeniuk, May 28, 2012 at 6:54 p.m.

    The cited players who make beaucoup bucks have one thing in common; lack of support and efficacy from their teammates. Athleticism is nice, but in soccer, it's the IQ that really counts.

  4. James Madison, May 28, 2012 at 7:28 p.m.

    I haven't run the "Guaranteed Compensation" numbers, but it is fascinating that two of the three teams with the highest base payrolls---LA and Toronoto---are "tail enders" in performance. Only the Red Bulls are among the league leaders. Other leaders, including DC United, Sporting Kansas City, Real Salt Lake and San Jose Earthquakes have only one-quarter or less of New York's base payroll. If you look at number of fans per $ of base payroll, Seattle is out in front, with Portland, KC, Houston and Vancouver on its heels.

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