Friday, July 18, 2008

2008 MLS All-Star Player Salaries

I realise comparing MLS wages to player wages in England is not even close to a fair comparison, but it is still interesting to look at the type of salary handicap Major League Soccer has in comparison to some of the richest leagues in the world.

Here are the "guaranteed compensations" of the players on the MLS all star game-day roster for the 2008 season.

GK Matt Reis ($161,250)
DF Frankie Hejduk ($175,000)
FW Juan Pablo Angel ($1,593,750)
MF Cuauhtémoc Blanco ($2,666,778)
FW Landon Donovan ($900,000)
MF Christian Gomez ($430,000)
DF Jim Brennan ($183,250)
DF Jimmy Conrad ($225,000)
MF Dwayne De Rosario ($325,000)
FW Edson Buddle ($157,000)
DF Jonathan Bornstein ($77,500)
MF Steve Ralston ($150,000)
MF Juan Toja ($150,000)
GK Pat Onstad ($173,000)
MF Shalrie Joseph ($325,000)
MF David Beckham ($6,500,000)
MF Pablo Mastroeni ($318,000)
FW Kenny Cooper ($83,000)

Combined All-Star Salary: $14,593,528
Average Annual Salary: $810,751

Comparison: Peter Crouch's Transfer to Portsmouth was reportedly for around $18,000,000.

Combined All-Star Salary Without Beckham, Blanco, Donovan and Angel: $2,933,000
Average Annual Salary: $209,500

Comparison: According to a 2006 BBC article on player wages, Championship players in England earn an average salary of about $385,000, League One players $130,000, and League Two players earn $95,000.

West Ham's Lucas Neill reportedly earns about £60,000 a week which converts to almost $500,000 every month, more than any MLS player's YEARLY wage outside of the Designated Players. Is he really that much better than some of the MLS All-Stars on this list?

In the 2006/2007 season Watford had the lowest wage bill by a longshot in the EPL. Their total wages added up to about $35,000,000 for the entire squad, more than twice as much as all of the MLS all-star salaries combined.

The Columbus Crew's Robbie Rogers, an original selection before being pulled away by the US Olympic squad, was the lowest paid player selected with an annual wage of $57,500.


  1. mls is crap.
    and yes lucas neill is better then all of them

  2. You are entitled to your opinion. I don't agree.

  3. I just randomly stumbled on this blog. Thanks for the careful analysis. It's clear that MLS has major changes to make before it's taken seriously.

    I grew in Europe (France and England) and now live in the US. While it's admirable that Americans are finally taking an interest in soccer, you have to really be careful when making assertions about a player like Lucas Neill. Neill has proved himself in the Premier League, and you're pretty delusional to think he's not better than these guys. MLS "stars" like Landon Donovan and Freddy Adu have tried and failed many times to play in way shittier European leagues like the Bundesliga. America is years behind Europe in terms of soccer, mostly because American soccer players focus way too much on fitness and strength instead of intangibles like game intelligence, tactical thinking and general knowledge of the sport. And no, the fluke 2002 quarter final appearance should not be treated as an example of progress. 2006 showed where the US really was in world soccer, regardless of those stupid FIFA rankings which forget that US gets to boost its cache by obliterating Barbados once or twice a year because of its CONCACAF location.

    If American players (or the Mexicans/Salvadorans/Whatevers) who play in the MLS were good enough to play in Europe, they would go. They are just not. There are a few who do, like Clint Dempsey, but for the most part, we're leagues behind the rest. Then again, it's like comparing baseball in Korea to the Major Leagues. Our top athletes don't play soccer.

  4. Thanks for the comment.

    I think you've taken my comment about Neill in the wrong way. I do believe he is better than most or all MLS players. My (probably poor) assertion was, is he really worth the millions and millions of dollars more than say, Shalrie Joseph is worth to New England.

    Believe me, I am not one of those "MLS is just as good as the Premiership" people floating around the web. I do think that the top 10-15 players in the league are more than capable of playing in Europe though (although maybe not at the "big" clubs).

    For the record, I think Landon Donovan is a top 100 player in the world who failed in Europe the first time because his head wasn't right. It was never about his skill level. (and I also think Adu has always been overrated)

    Thanks again for your thoughts.

  5. Sorry, but Landon Donvan is NOT a world top 100 player. Top 2 0r 300 maybe.

    He simply disappears in big games all to often!

  6. Thanks Matthew,

    Considering the number of players playing in the world, the difference between a top 100 and top 2 or 300 player is not very big. I'll stand by my original statement though. Perhaps it's my blind devotion to all US National Team players, but I do believe Donovan to be a top 100 guy.

    Although Donovan has disappeared in a few big games, I don't agree that it's happened too often. The guy has scored about a dozen times in the Gold Cup, about ten times in WCQs, 2 times in the World Cup, was MLS Cup MVP scoring two goals in a final and has setup countless goals for others in big games.

    I think people expect so much from Donovan that if he is not one of the best players or a goal scorer/setup man in a match he is considered a no show.

  7. Wow - I love the intelligent debate that went back & forth. Excellent points being made - especially from the gent that grew up in Europe. Regardless, the U.S. has made great strides since the 70's in developing our youth soccer leagues. The U.S. has the resources (population & field availability) to one day field a consistent top flight National Team. The problem is that the kids in the U.S. are too preoccupied w/ playing baseball, football, basketball & hockey instead of focusing on soccer. We can thank PELE for getting our country to take soccer somewhat seriously, but we need more aggressive marketing of U.S. grown players (i.e., Donovan, Dempsey, Altidore, Davies, etc.) to keep the momentum going. Go Team USA! Support Sam's Army & The American Outlaws U.S. Fan Clubs!

    Mike - New Jersey

  8. well,The Best Eleven has been Vindicated. Donovan has shown at everton that he certainly can compete at the highest level in europe. I rate him in the top 50 of world soccer at the moment

  9. Top 50 my arse because he has played well for Everton? There's more than 50 players in the Premiership better than him never mind the rest of the world. He has played well for Everton but to say he is in the top 50 in the world is just dillusional!

    Another yank who has just started in the prem is Stuart Holden and he has started really well for Bolton in his first 2 games. I don't think MLS will be getting him back anyway.

    The reason why your guys don't get the wages is because they aren't worth it the vast majority anyway. You can't compare a league to the premiership in terms of wages when any team in the League One could and would outplay them! The players that are worth it get snapped up by European teams and get their rewards for being worth it.

  10. blah blah GO LANDON DONOVAN!!!!!!!!!!!!