MLS: Top-end salaries jump thanks to TAM

While the number of MLS players making more than $1 million a year in guaranteed compensation has increased by a third from 21 to 28 players in two years, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of players making above the league maximum and below $1 million -- from 24 to 58 players -- since Targeted Allocation Money spending was injected.

MLS Maximums:
2015 Cap: $436,250
2017 Cap: $480,625

Each club is allowed three Designated Players -- players making about the maximum of $480,625 in total compensation and acquisition costs in 2017.

Targeted Allocation Money was introduced in 2015 to allow teams to sign additional players making above the maximum but less than $1 million and use TAM to "buy down" their total compensation and acquisition costs.

In addition to players making above the DP maximum, per MLS Players Union guaranteed compensation figures released on Tuesday, MLS identities 20 players as being TAM players. Most but not all would have had acquisition costs bought down in order to get them under maximum.

Chicago and Portland have seven players each making above the league maximum. Of the 86 players making above the league maximum, 25 entered or re-entered MLS in 2017. Just 23 are eligible for the U.S. national team.

MLS Players Over Cap:
7 Chicago (4 in 2015): Accam, *De Leeuw, *Juninho, *Kappelhof, *McCarty, Nikolic, Schweinsteiger.
7 Portland (3 in 2015): Adi, Blanco, *Chara, Melano, *Nagbe, *Ridgewell, Valeri.
6 Sporting KC (3 in 2015): *Besler, *Dwyer, Espinoza, *Feilhaber, Gerso, Zusi.
(*Diego Rubio.)
5 Atlanta United (- in 2015): Almiron, *Carmona, Martinez, *McCann, Villalba.
(*Gonzalez Pirez.)

5 LA Galaxy (4 in 2015): Alessandrini, dos Santos, *J.Jones, Van Damme, *Zardes.
5 New England (2 in 2015): Agudelo, *Angoua, K.Kamara, Kouassi, *Nguyen.
5 Philadelphia (1 in 2015): Bedoya, Edu, *Ilsinho, *Medunjanin, *Simpson.
5 San Jose (2 in 2015): Dawkins, *Hoesen, *Hyka, *Jungwirth, Wondolowski.
4 Columbus (2 in 2015): Higuain, Mensah, *O.Kamara, *Sauro.
(*Meram, *Trapp.)
4 New York City FC (4 in 2015): Diskerud, Moralez, Pirlo, Villa.
(*Brillant, *Chanot, *Ring.)
4 Orlando City (3 in 2015): Barnes, Kaka, *Nocerino, *Spector.
4 Seattle (3 in 2015): Alonso, Dempsey, Lodeiro, *Torres.
4 Toronto FC (4 in 2015): Altidore, Bradley, Giovinco, *Vasquez.
4 Vancouver (2 in 2015): Laba, Montero, *Reyna, Shea.
(*Bolanos, *Techera.)
3 Colorado (1 in 2015): Doyle, Gashi, Howard.
3 FC Dallas (1 in 2015): Diaz, Gruezo, *Lamah.
3 Real Salt Lake (1 in 2015): *Beckerman, Movsisyan, Rusnak.
2 D.C. United (1 in 2015): *Acosta, *Birnbaum.
2 Montreal (0 in 2015): Ciman, *Mancosu.
2 NY Red Bulls (2 in 2015): Kljestan, Wright-Phillips.
1 Houston (2 in 2015): Torres.
(*Cabezas, *Manotas, *Quioto.)
1 Minnesota United (- in 2015): *Demidov.
(*Calvo, *Schuller).
*Players (re-)signed with TAM.
Players in bold (re-)entered MLS in 2017.
Players in parentheses are "TAM players" making less than maximum.
1 comment about "MLS: Top-end salaries jump thanks to TAM".
  1. don Lamb, April 26, 2017 at 12:12 p.m.

    TAM has been huge in terms of attracting and keeping good players in or before their prime.

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