At $6.5 million per year, Toronto FC’s Michael Bradley makes the same amount of money as Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf, the NHL club’s highest-paid player.
At close to $6.2 million per year, Jermain Defoe’s MLS paycheque is more substantial than Phil Kessel’s yearly haul.
Major League Soccer’s Players’ Union released the salaries of all 555 of its players on Thursday.
Seattle Sounders striker Clint Dempsey is the highest-paid MLSer, bringing in $6,695,189 this season.
Bradley and Defoe sit second and third respectively in terms of biggest annual salaries.
Twelve MLSers earn seven figures: Toronto’s Gilberto ($1.2 million), L.A. Galaxy’s Robbie Keane ($4.5 million), L.A.’s Landon Donovan ($4.6 million), New York’s Thierry Henry ($4.35 million), New York’s Tim Cahill ($3.6 million), Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio ($2.6 million) and Vancouver’s Pedro Morales ($1.4 million).
After making a massive splash this offseason, Toronto FC has the league’s highest payroll at just under $17 million this season, close to $3 million more than the L.A. Galaxy.
After TFC’s aforementioned three Designated Players, club captain Steven Caldwell ($364,166.67) and winger Alvaro Rey ($204,450.00) round out Toronto’s top-five highest-paid players.
Toronto FC’s lowest-paid player is late-round draft pick Daniel Lovitz ($36,504), who the Reds immediately sent to their USL-affiliate in Wilmington shortly after the start of the season.
Other notable TFC salaries include No. 2 ‘keeper Joe Bendik ($147,375.00), who received a large raise following a standout 2013.
On loan Brazilian international Julio Cesar is making $202,000.00 in MLS, despite earning considerably more at his home club, Queens Park Rangers.
No longer an MLS DP, Dwayne De Rosario’s salary dropped to $173,000.00 from $600,000 last season.
It should also be noted that Toronto FC Academy product Jonathan Osorio received a significant salary bump to $142,599.00 following his first season in the league.
Major League Soccer’s average player salary is just under $210,000.
While the league’s salary cap is $3.1 million per team, clubs are permitted to spend over and above that on three “Designated Players.”
MLS TO ATLANTA
Major League Soccer’s ambitious attempt to expand into the U.S. southeast took another step forward this week.
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank confirmed reports that he is in close talks to bring an MLS club to Georgia.
“The answer is yes,” Blank told 680 The Fan in Atlanta. “We’re in the very final stages of doing our agreement.”
The league’s expansion fee is said to be nearing $100 million.
The Atlanta club is expected to play in a new $1.2 billion venue that should be ready by 2017.
Atlanta would become the league’s 22nd franchise. A David Beckham-owned Miami franchise is expected to be the league’s 23rd team.
Orlando City and New York City FC are slated to join MLS in 2015, bringing the league’s total to 21 teams.
MLS commissioner Don Garber has stated his intention is for MLS to expand to 24 teams by 2020.