2009 MLS Salaries unveiled


The MLS Player's Union has released the 2009 MLS salaries (at least on deals submitted before recently).

David Beckham remains the highest-paid player at more than $6.5 million in guaranted compensation. Cuauhtemoc Blanco comes in second with close to $3 million in guaranteed money. Juan Pablo Angel comes in third with almost $1.8 million. Freddie Ljungberg is fourth with a $1.3 million deal.

Kansas City wins the discount DP award for bringing former Designated Player Claudio Lopez back for $180,000.

There are plenty of players missing from this list, basically all the rookies, undrafted college and trialists still trying to make teams. You also player players such as Alfredo Pacheco and Carlos Johnson, who haven't had their deals finalized yet.

What do you think of the salaries? Who do you think is the most overpaid player? How about the best bargain in MLS?

Share your thoughts on your team, and the rest of the league's salaries, in the comments section below (Red Bulls salaries after the jump).

2009 New York Red Bulls salaries

Juan Pablo Angel ($1,798,000.00), Danleigh Borman ($34,000.00), Terry Boss ($34,000), Andrew Boyens ($52,050), Danny Cepero ($34,000), Jon Conway (123,625), Oscar Echeverry ($84,000), Kevin Goldthwaite ($111,000), Jeremy Hall ($88,000), Macoumba Kandji ($90,988), Matt Mbuta ($34,000), Carlos Mendes ($88,125), Dominic Oduro ($34,650), Mike Palacio ($20,100), Mike Petke ($80,000), Juan Pietravallo ($205,000), Dane Richards ($136,500), Jorge Rojas ($130,000), Luke Sassano ($34,000), Khano Smith ($120,000), Seth Stammler ($118,000), Sinisa Ubiparipovic ($80,000), John Wolyniec (($80,000).

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65 Responses to 2009 MLS Salaries unveiled

  1. Kevin says:

    Vitti is making 3x Marvel Wynne? He better be damn good.

  2. Scott in Houston says:

    Stuart Holden makes less than $35k per year. Is there a better deal in the league?

  3. lasoccer says:

    Scott in Houston: I agree. For Holden’s sake, I hope his contract ends this year.

  4. JD says:

    Pietravallo’s compensation is nothing short of absurd.

  5. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    Probably right Scott. And Israel Sesay making over $100K would be the worst. Hey Galaxy fans….Alexi says “Your Welcome”.

  6. Johnie says:

    Stuff like this really makes MLS look like a mickey mouse league. If every player on the Red Bulls Roster made at least 50K a year it would only cost the team an additional 150K a year in salary. I highly doubt that would bankrupt any team or the league. How can MLS not justify having a minimum salary of 50K a player. I make more than some of these guys with my 9 to 5 job. And I’m not talking about poor quality, or developmental players either. No wonder we keep losing players to Sweden, Austria, Denmark and other places. I’d leave the first chance i got. These guys don’t have very long careers, and I’m sure at least a few of them have families to feed just like I do. Hell, most of these guys have college degrees, and I still make more than them with just my High School Diploma.

  7. Charlie N. says:

    Dallas has Cunningham @255 & Cooper@105. I would take cooper and pocket the 150k.

    Pietravallo is 205k–OUCH!!!!

    Movsisyan is 60k, a bargain I think when Chris Leitch is 63k and Taylor Graham is 55k. (I know diff. positions, but the $ value is good for Yura)

  8. victor says:

    Wow, Davy Arnaud makes over $220K? He’s decent and all but…really? It’s time for a 2009 overpaid/underpaid list, Ives.

  9. Miguel says:

    Pietravallo makes more than Claudo Lopez. That’s insane!

  10. kahlva says:

    Peitravallo better either:
    – Light up the league light a pinball machine…without Red Cards
    – Leave.

  11. Charlie N. says:

    I’m with Victor. Lets do an overpaid/underpaid list.

  12. sprool11 says:

    Sinisa Ubiparipovic ($80,000)is WRONG – he only makes 34k

  13. KTao says:

    Seriously, 120 k for Khano Smith??!! Have the Red Bulls been paying attention for the last 4 seasons?

    Maybe half of that, @60 k, would be reasonable.

  14. Andrew says:

    as a chicago fan, I cant help but notice that certain players get paid way too much, while others get paid nothing, (ie. Justin Mapp vs John Thorrington) Confusing

  15. Chris says:

    Can someone explain the difference between base salary and guarunteed compensation. If comepensation is “guarenteed” isn’t that the same as the “base salary”?

  16. arena futbol says:

    Keep in mind that, due to typical MLS rule-murkiness, some players may be getting paid out of a team accumulated “allocation money” rather than “salary cap money.” For instance, KC may pay Lopez $180,00 in “salary” plus an extra $200,000 – $300,000 in “allocation” money. Of course, we don’t really know for sure how any of this works… maybe our man Ives can get MLS to offer him some coherent explanation?

  17. Ace says:

    COL Casey Conor F $ 2 00,000.00 $ 200,000.00???

    He’s got the “Milking inflated expectations” award.

  18. Alex says:

    Mickey mouse my a**!!! most entry level jobs are in the 30,000 range to begin with and the most I counted where 2or3 guys making the 20,000 minimum most of them are reserves who can play their way into a bigger paycheck, isn’t that what we want? The cheapest team has to be the revs they had more players at the 34,000 mark than anyone else, personally I would hate to play for new england kraft is so frugal. Surprises for me chad barrett after he took an initial pay cut last year he makes out well this year, and marshall I’d stay in MLS where i would play too for 300k probably the same amount to sit on the bench in germany.

  19. Charlie N. says:

    Did my own over/under list (real fast, so pardon me if you disagree)

    OVER: Mapp-220,Pause-95, Shavar(chv)-104, Gaven-173, Gordon-79, sesay-70, Echevery-80, Goldthwaite-102, Khano Smith-120, Vagenas-158, Serioux-119, And the winner is ………Pietravallo–205K

    UNDER;Rolfe-95, Galindo-87, Gruenbaum34, Ashe-34, Holden-34 (Come on, 34?), Cristman-34, Dube-Nyassi-Mansally (The New England hydra)-34, Movsisyan-60, ……And the winner is Lopez–180k

  20. LDQ says:

    I want to know how in the hell my team, New England, gets away with paying Lawrentowicz, arguably the heart of our defense with Parkhurst gone, $35k a year while Igwe – who showed up to play in maybe 1 game last year – makes 90k. Even worse, Nayassi, Mansally, Dube and Wells all make $35k a year. If the Revs don’t step up the money, we could lose some of our best young talent.

  21. O'C says:

    If he’s healthy, Jaime Moreno is ahell of a bargain and Sacha Klejstan is like a blue light special!

  22. Murphy says:

    khano smith is making more than kenny cooper? i agree with the post above that $50,000 could be a minimum that is feasible for most of these teams…

    this definitely calls for an overpaid/underpaid list…

  23. Steve007 says:

    David Beckham remains the highest-paid player at more than $6.5 million in guaranted compensation. Cuauhtemoc Blanco comes in second with close to $3 million in guaranteed money. Juan Pablo Angel comes in third with almost $1.8 million. Freddie Ljungberg is fourth with a $1.3 million deal.


    LOL MLS thinks Landy Cakes is below these players. He’s only get paid $900K.

  24. Steve007 says:

    Some of these salaries are a joke.

    MLS is still Minor League Soccer

  25. Roger Van Gool says:

    Base salaries = $ that count against the cap. Since MLS brokers the deals to sign players, it uses its own discretion in terms of the additional guaranteed comp required to sign a player (but not yet be a salary cap hit).

  26. Roger Van Gool says:

    Holden is the best bargain, Petraviello is the most overpaid.

    Interesting to see the gap in pay in the new young South Amercian strikers – Montero (SEA) @ $155K and Vitti (TOR) @ $288K – by the end of the year, I imagine that Seattle will look a lot better than Toronto in terms of return on investment.

  27. jloome says:

    Interesting to see the gap in pay in the new young South Amercian strikers – Montero (SEA) @ $155K and Vitti (TOR) @ $288K – by the end of the year, I imagine that Seattle will look a lot better than Toronto in terms of return on investment.
    Yeah, but it’ll just be your imagination. Ditto with whoever thinks Serioux is overpaid at $118,000.

  28. Nick says:

    1.3M for Ljungberg isn’t bad. I remember the sources were saying 3-5M when he first signed with the league.

  29. Shalrie Joseph makes more than Taylor Twellman? Did not expect to see that.

  30. Eugene says:

    Felix Garcia is getting paid how much?! My my that guy better get his butt back in camp.

  31. RPH says:

    Will Johnson and Yura Movsisyan are bargains for RSL.

  32. Johnie says:

    Alex: I agree that players should “play their way into a bigger paycheck.” Hunger and motivation are great for aspiring pros, but i wonder if these guys are literally hungry on those salaries. They shouldn’t be competing with part-time Starbucks employees for annual salary.

    The 20K minimum for any player is just too little. A player should not have to worry about supplemental income to just to get by in life. Especially not a reserve/developmental player. The only thing they should be worried about is improving as a player, not making enough money to scrape by on. They should be able to focus on soccer alone.

  33. Cesar Barrientos says:

    Pietravallo is 205k RB are you locos or what he is by far the worts player cut him off and give everyone 10k raise

  34. jpc says:

    I would like to see all salaries at least above 50 G’s a year; however, they are making progress… this time last year my jaw was on the floor looking at $11,000 salaries, now the lowest I’m seeing is $20,000, which isn’t good, but progress is being made… Hopefully by next year the $34,000 contracts will be the league minimum, and will keep improving from there

  35. Matt says:

    I think $34K would be just fine as a minimum salary. There aren’t many players on this list making less than that. In many places, a new teacher makes that much. Why should a bench warmer for a soccer team make more? It reflects the popularity of the sport in this country. I don’t think it makes MLS look bad at all.

  36. Matt says:

    I don’t think the minimum salary should be more than $34K in MLS. It’s supply and demand, and the demand just isn’t that great in this country. That doesn’t make MLS look bad. Besides, teachers starting out make about that much in most places. Why should a bench warmer on a soccer team make more?

  37. Johnie says:

    I’m just saying that I won’t call it “Major” League Soccer until these kids can afford to eat. I am a huge fan of MLS by the way. And yeah it gets better every year, but like i said its only another 150k a year more for each team at most so that these kids can get a salary appropriate for a pro.

    As some posters above have pointed out, most teams are wasting that much on overpaying players that don’t produce. That money would be better spent paying the young guys a respectable wage. I wonder what the rest of the world thinks when they see this.

  38. Chosun says:

    Seriously? Danny Cepero at $34k? That’s just wrong… Honestly, I don’t see how any player in the NYC area can focus solely on soccer when being paid under $40k. I think that the minimum salary MUST be at least 30k, and different areas should really consider the cost of living as well. $30k in the NY/NJ area is borderline ridiculous in my eyes.

  39. Johnie says:

    I agree Chosun. I just left Los Angeles, and my rent was 1,900 dollars a month for my wife and I to have a 2 bedroom apartment. The minimum should be enough for somebody to get by regardless of where they are living. However if they cant raise the minimum league wide at least give a cost of living allowance like the military for high expense places like LA and NY.

  40. Justin O says:

    Ace – Conor Casey was very very good last year – one of the best forwards in the league for the second half of the season. Perhaps his salary is a bit more than he’s worth, but his is hardly one of the names that jumpos out at me as being overpaid.

  41. Fumar says:

    Is it just me or wasn’t the roster deadline last week? March 2nd I think? How do teams still have trialists? Shouldn’t rosters be set in stone.

  42. LDQ says:

    Weatherman, Shalrie Joseph is worth about 10X more than Twellman. He earns every penny of that $400k and probably would make a lot more than that in most other leagues.

  43. Joseph says:

    Minimum salary should be 50k. Period. This is a time where a salary cap is artificially depressing wages.

    I understand the need for a salary cap in the nascent stages of an relatively new league, and I’m not against it, but

    Pietravallo getting 200k/year isn’t strange for his talent level, that’s what he’d get in any other country in the world.

    What’s strange is the other players on the team getting 34k.

    The level of soccer in MLS, is about mid-championship level, and mid-championship level players make in the 150k/yr region.

    Danny not getting a raise after last year is absolutely crazy. It may have been a fluke, but I felt that he was more effective than Conway, maybe not athletically, but definitely tactically.

  44. Chris says:

    You know what though…34k might be small for new york/new jersey. But these guys all know each other and should have no problem rooming together. 60k+ combined is more than enough to rent a place somewhere.

  45. Joe says:

    Chad Barrett at 195k? Justin Mapp at 220k? Those 2 are extremely overpaid. Barrett is a forward that cant score goals and Mapp is a winger that cant last more than 45 min and cant cross the ball or beat a defender to save his life. I need to get their agents phone numbers…

    Gonzalo making 61k is a steal. He is a top 5 defender in this league and we have him at a steal of a price.

  46. Fred says:

    Angel makes as much as the rest of the team put together. I doubt President Obama would approve of that.

  47. Joe says:

    You know what though…34k might be small for new york/new jersey. But these guys all know each other and should have no problem rooming together. 60k+ combined is more than enough to rent a place somewhere.


    That is an absurd statement. You cant live in Chicago, LA, New York on 34k a year. These players shouldnt HAVE to find a roommate so they can live. They are professional athletes. 34k in Salt Lake is ALOT different than 34k in Chicago or LA. Those players are living paycheck to paycheck and trying to make ends meet in the big cities while Salt Lake and KC could be living somewhat comfortably.

  48. George Griffin says:

    Jeff Larentowicz is a huge bargain for the Revs and at this point may be the best value for the dollar in MLS. He’s obviously playing out his contract which is up at the end of this season.

  49. STL says:

    nate jaqua at 200k is absurd. montero at 155k will turn oujt to be a great bargain i thought for sure he would be 250-300k range.

  50. DC United fan says:

    I’m of two minds on the pay issue. On the one hand, young players and prospects just breaking in and at the margins of the league SHOULD be making a small salary, especially given the current dire economic climate and the fact that MLS is still a relatively young, small league by top world standards that still needs to be strict about containing costs. One hopes that the young guys at the bottom have some family or other support while they chase their dream. Remember, most of these guys are still in their late teens, early twenties. If guys in their late twenties or early thirties are still hanging on near the bottom of the pay scale then they should probably be preparing for a life after football anyway. All that said, a starting living salary (at least $30K is necessary to survive in ANY major metropolitan area of North America) can only encourage good young talent to stay and look at opportunities here instead of Europe. Right now, it’s hard to argue that there’s not still room for improvement.

  51. ben says:

    I’m sorry but can we stop whining about developmental players making 34 grand? My wife and I make about the same COMBINED. And I have a bachelor’s degree. These are kids playing soccer, most of which won’t be in the league past this year. I’d be more than happy to make $34,000 for approximately 9 months of work. So they might have to have a roommate, so do most people, it’s called reality.

  52. chitown says:

    anyone else notice that the minimum salary went from 12900 to 20100. Personally i think that is a step in the right direction.

  53. Aljarov says:

    Vitti at twice Montero was an eyebrow raiser.

    So much for RObinson’s big pay cut to stay….he’s on pretty much the exact same money.

    Arnaud popped out to me as overpaid, but the biggest things that stands out is the inconsistency. Even ignoring GA players which given they are well above average for rookies distorts things, even the senior contracts make little sense. I guess, though, it’s all a matter of what you negotiate.

    Glad to see Nana and Gala on senior deals at leas for TFC.

  54. Tomr143 says:

    Hard to beleive Robbie Rogers is only paid $92,500 a year. I would think the MLS would pay him more so they have a decent chance of keeping him-dumb.

  55. chris says:

    With respect to the Vitti situation. Isn’t he on loan from Independiente? Wouldn’t that club be covering his salary? Does anybody know how the loan situation works with respect to the salary cap?

  56. JakeO says:

    I can’t for the life of me figure out what Oscar Echeverry and Juan Pietravallo are doing with RBNY.

  57. imkis32 says:

    3 points:

    1. Players who have DEV contracts and are making less than 30k usually have the team provide them an apartment. I don’t know about your living arrangement, but I’ll take 30k if I don’t have to pay rent, no problem.

    2. Alan Gordon at 79k cannot be considered overpaid. Just a hint: As an off-the-bench player, compare his numbers for 08 to the numbers of most STARTING forwards in the league. Come back with the results. Oh, then compare his productivity with the English lad’s.

    3. Israel Sesay’s +100k = not paid by the Galaxy, and doesn’t count against the cap. Oh, and Sesay is wicked fast and very talented, might see a lot of him this season.

  58. huricano says:

    I think its a bad system when one player on a team makes 1.8 million and another 20k. There should be some ratio, maybe maximum 8 to 1. The league should think of overall quality and domestic standouts not overprices and over-the-hill imports.

  59. LDQ says:

    Huricano, wouldn’t that essentially kill the DP rule then?

    I agree with everyone who says we need a $50k minimum. We can’t expect these players to grow and develop when they are scraping by financially. And If I see Lawrentowicz, Nyassi, Mansally or Dube out in Boston ever, I will definitely know from now on to pick up their tabs.

  60. andy says:

    Best Signing: Blanco..he’s paid for himself and then some!!!! Also, field quality is great as well.

  61. johnny fc says:

    is anyone else kinda disapointed that the redbulls having givin cepero a raise considering is proformence last season

  62. redbullfan says:

    DANE RICHARDS still a bargain. STUART HOLDEN @35k is insulting

  63. brian says:

    and the world 50 best paid players

    link to futebolfinance.com

  64. Mikey Sims says:

    You gotta think these teams somehow find a way to pay these lower earning players some money on the side… no??

    I live in Jersey, make about 50k/year and still had to move back home because rent and living expenses were too high. I feel for some of these guys.

    Pietravallo is a joke. He wont even start and is making that much..