MLS salaries for league newcomers are out

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The Major League Soccer Player's Union updated the listing of MLS players salaries earlier today, and shed some light on just how much the league's newcomers are costing.

From million-dollar strikers Kenny Miller and Marco DiVaio, to centerbacks making between $200K an $300K like Arne Friedrich, Alessando Nesta and Bakary Soumare, MLS teams did some serious spending to make their mid-season roster improvements.

There are also some interesting bargains, such as New England Olympic star Jerry Bengtson and impressive Houston newcomer Oscar Boniek Garcia, who both are making less than $160,000 in guaranteed salary (though it should be noted that things like marketing and promotional incentives and transfer fees are not included in those figures. In the cases of Bengtson and Garcia, it is a safe bet that the transfer fees that brought them to MLS are what makes both Designated Players).

Here is a rundown of how much money the league's mid-season additions are slated to make in 2012:


Arne Friedrich (Chicago Fire)- $230,833

Sherjill McDonald (Chicago Fire)-$487,125

Jairo Arrieta (Columbus Crew)- $225,375

Oscar Boniek Garcia (Houston Dynamo)- $151,250

Marco DiVaio (Montreal Impact) $1,937,508

Alessandro Nesta (Montreal Impact)- $225,000

Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution)- $120,000

Bakary Soumare (Philadelphia Union)- $280,000

Barry Robson (Vancouver Whitecaps)- $596,499

Kenny Miller (Vancouver Whitecaps)- $1,239,316


If you want to see all the MLS salaries, you can see them here. Players who were signed right at the deadline, like Tim Cahill, are not listed yet.

What do you think of these salaries? Who do you consider a bargain? Who is overpriced?

Share your thoughts below.

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63 Responses to MLS salaries for league newcomers are out

  1. New England paying the least – imagine that.

  2. Tyler says:

    Why are they dogging Nesta like that whilst Di Vaio makes such an exorbitant amount?

  3. Fred says:

    How is Bengston a DP with such a low salary?

  4. Rick says:

    How does Nesta only make 225K?

  5. Spencer says:

    there was probably a transfer fee that bumped him up

  6. ericJ says:

    Transfer fee??

  7. ericJ says:

    That is exactly what made my jaw drop. I saw his salary vs DiVaio…

  8. Dimidri says:

    As a Fire fan, fine with the Friederich total-he’s been great some games, very good in the others. The McDonald one on the other hand…I guess it’s their money.

  9. BATMAN says:

    why does Friedrich make less than a quarter million? He’s a 2 time WC star. He should easily be making double that

  10. K-Town says:

    MLS should raid all of Honduras’ best players.

  11. BATMAN says:

    If Bengston keeps scoring this dude will command a big transfer fee. A few million for sure

  12. Vic El Paso texas says:

    Ronaldinho to mls

  13. easilyorg says:

    how is it that we can get actual solid European players for less than DP money? Hard to believe

  14. easilyorg says:

    how are they comparably? which teams did they play for?

  15. uss saratoga says:

    Each team needs to have a maximum of 4 DP’s and salary cap needs to be raised to like 4million ASAP.

    how can we get quality European players when even the crappy ones can get a few hundred grand a season in leagues like Norway and Denmark. Heck the average player in the Championship gets nearly a million a year

  16. Weaksauce says:

    Hopefully next season

  17. Mateo says:

    Anyone else find it odd that Nesta makes only $225K and Di Vaio makes nearly $2 million? These guys go way back, right? Good friends. Maybe Montreal gets around Nesta being a DP by overpaying DiVaio and having him transfer some of his salary to Nesta. Maybe they both really are taking home about $1 million Crazy talk? Hard to imagine Nesta coming from AC Milan to a brand new MLS team in Montreal for only $225.

  18. Ben says:

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves…I’m all for a free market that leans towards the labor, but A#1 is getting the league a heritage and a foothold. Tip the hat to the investors now and make them reinvest as MLS metamorphasizes from a AAA to a major league entity. I think it’s possible.

  19. Pop says:

    why have a salary cap? no other league on the planet has one. Whats the good argument for a salary cap?

  20. Puffer says:

    So next season will NE have no DPs since Bengston’s salary doesn’t qualify w/o transfer fee and Shalrie is gone?

  21. Waterlewd says:


  22. ericJ says:

    Nesta = AC Milan??????

  23. Ang says:

    Nesta is the unbelievable bargain. Got to be wrong. If not, why didn’t Red Bull buy him for a non-DP salary when he wanted to go to NY?!

  24. brian says:

    A stable professional soccer league in the united states

  25. jayboy says:

    MacDonald is a total headscratcher to me. His resume reads like Eddie Johnson, without any of the National team caps. 27 year-old striker, bounced around in 2nd tier leagues, and then scored 15 goals in 82 games (2.5 seasons) on a mid-table Belgian team. That’s 6 goals a season. How on earth does that warrant $550k? I’d rather have 4 young Hondurans on my team for that money!!

  26. Old School says:

    Sherjill McDonald (Chicago Fire)-$487,125


    Just another boneheaded move on the financial side of the Fire front office.

  27. AJ says:

    I agree. I just don’t see how that is correct.

  28. cfig says:

    Boniek may be the smartest DP signing any club has made in MLS from a dollars to performance standpoint. He’s great on the ball, calm yet brings energy, and makes the players around him better, I’ve never seen another player make the impact he has in such a short period of time.

  29. Mvillase says:

    I’ll take Boniek at 150k over any other overpaid player anytime…smart from the Dynamo!

  30. Thomas says:

    He was one of those with a transfer fee attached (a new tactic for the MLS that started with Robbie Keane), so the cost to the club was significantly more than his listed salary. Regardless, has made the team infinitely better, so no matter the price tag, a good acquisition.

  31. Thomas says:

    Second that. They are proving to be a solid fit for the MLS with, surprisingly, little adjustment period.

  32. Thomas says:

    What are the terms of the Di Viao contract, because that seems insane. Hope it is just a one year deal that was meant to give Montreal immediate competitiveness (is that a word?)

  33. Figgy says:

    If he plays like Eddie, Chicago has done well

  34. ericJ says:

    sometimes transfer fee = multiple seasons (re: Fernandez in Seattle [now Chicago]).

  35. Marcos G says:

    When is LA going to make use of their recent salary dumps?

  36. Dynamofan says:

    Parity and finacial stability for a league in a country that must compete with 3 or 4 other major proffesional sports leagues. The US professional soccer situation is like no other in the world. Why ask a question if you are to stupid to listen to a response.

  37. Kosh says:

    I fail to see the funny on this one. Not unless you are a recent fan of soccer in the US you would clearly understand the need for a cap (see NASL, and no not that new one).

    Like the cap or not, it is a steady approach that has MLS treading the successful heights today.

    So I am missing the funny, which could apply to me missing your sarcasm. It’s the internet and “lol” is hard to read sometimes, plus it’s early in the morning.

  38. Fred says:

    Aahhh. Makes sense now. Thanks.

  39. Daniel says:

    MLS did this prior to Keane. Fabian Castillo of FCD for example.

  40. Santana says:

    I want to see confirmation that the Revs actually bought Bengtson outright, because there were noises that this was just (yet another) a loan deal like Caraglio or Pepe Moreno.

  41. NE Matt says:

    My Revs are either really shrewd or really cheap…I think I’ll go with the latter

  42. Marcus says:

    Even though he’s arguably one of the best Italian centerbacks ever, I find it difficult to believe most teams in the world would pay more for one of the most injury-prone players i’ve ever seen, and one that doesn’t particularly put bums in seats. I think the fact that he took the contract proves as much…no one else was offering him more.

    That’s my take on it, and i’m unabashedly a Nesta fan.

  43. Scott e Dio93 says:

    I agree with McDonald is among most idiotic signing. Especially McDonald being such a failure as a forward in Belgium…Eurosnobs are laughing their asses off!

  44. Stephen says:

    Couldn’t agree more, our front office must be full of geniuses. Garcia’s quality so far has been incredible. GREAT SIGNING ORANGE!

  45. Modibo says:

    He made clear this is a one-year deal for him, for one thing, and he was trying to get away from his situation in the Bundesliga for another, where he’s been labeled – guess what? – injury-prone.

  46. jlm says:

    OT: How much of a joke is the MLS logo? That might need to be updated…

  47. 19651 says:

    Maybe Nesta just wanted to try something different and him being independently wealthy from earing bank from AC Milan all those years + many endoursement deals lets the dude do what he wants.

  48. The Imperative Voice says:

    When Birchall went back to Port Vale recently, before returning to MLS, when some issues hit I think he was willing to play for free. We tend to focus on money money money and assume it’s the motivation for everyone, but it’s not necessarily the story.

    Ching also took a half-salary paycut to come back to Houston. One thing that probably prevents that happening more often is the CBA and league rules, I think Ching was special dispensation.

    Maybe he just wants to be with a particular team and group of people at a particular time, and in Nesta’s case he doesn’t necessarily need the money, if he’s managed the nest egg right. Some of these athletes who need the money need it because they don’t control themselves buy the big house cars etc. and then need a high salary just to stay afloat. Hence the bankruptcies when they get hurt or retire.

  49. The Imperative Voice says:

    The two best buys for value are the Hondurans, younger ages, quality players, no retirement league issues hopefully.

    However, both Bengston and Boniek are DPs which means that though the salaries are smaller the annual hit is still decent sized. Houston is paying $500K a year for two years for a Boniek fee. Which raises his overall cost to like $650K. In the new era of MLS paying transfer fees that has to be factored in, reflected in DP status.

    I also think players like Nesta are a good idea, we want more Henry-types who just want to be in the Americas (including Canada) playing soccer. You’re more likely to get a motivated player from that, than tossing money at free agents.

  50. Zac says:

    And Saborio before that.

  51. DJ777 says:

    Maybe the Chicago fire owed the belgian club team a favor? who knows…

  52. Ang says:

    Cahill was actually an excellent signing. Definitely still has a lot in the tank and really just wants to play in America and build up the league.

  53. Fuegofan says:

    How is Friedrich a mid-season addition? He’s been with the Fire all season (signed in March).

  54. mike says:

    my thoughts exactly

  55. otergod says:

    i believe the transfer fee is added into his salary.

  56. Stan says:

    Birchall blows

  57. otergod says:

    transfer fee being added into it. whether or not that makes it acceptable i’m not sure. His resume certainly doesnt seem like someone who’d demand purchasing before his contract runs out. Only time will tell.

  58. Bart says:

    Ale Bedoya

  59. Ryan says:

    Dude has played like 15 minutes in MLS so far. Jeez. See what he can bring before you judge.

  60. Devin says:

    It isn’t, only compensation is shown in salary.

  61. Devin says:

    I think his deal is back-loaded (if thats the correct term). Basically, hes making 250k now, but next season he’ll be making an over DP salary amount.