Friday, the MLS Players Union released the 2014 salaries, revealing the 20 highest-paid players in the League. Topping the list are Toronto FC's Michael Bradley and Jermaine Defoe, each at $6 million, followed by the Seattle Sounders Clint Dempsey at $4,913,004.
Seven of the top 20 players are U.S. National Team players, up from two a year ago. Dempsey, Bradley and Edu returned to MLS recently, and Omar Gonzalez and Eddie Johnson were re-signed to new contracts.
Altogether, there are now 12 MLS players earning a million or more annually. The numbers listed below represent the players' base salary. The second larger numbers released by the MLSPU represents annual average guaranteed compensation.
According the MLSPU, "The annual average guaranteed compensation number includes a player's base salary and all signing and guaranteed bonuses annualized over the term of the player's contract, including option years. For example, if a player has a base salary of $50,000, has a two-year contract with two one-year options and received a $10,000 bonus when he signed, his average annual guaranteed compensation would be $52,500 (base salary plus signing bonus ($10,000), with the signing bonus divided by the number of years covered by the contract (4)). The average annual guaranteed compensation number also includes any annual marketing bonus to be received in the current year and any agent's fees annualized over the term of the contract."
The average annual guaranteed compensation figure does not include performance bonuses nor any compensation from any contracts with individual teams or their affiliates.
Top 20 MLS earners in 2014 (base salary)
1. Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) $6,000,000
1. Jermaine Defoe (Toronto FC) $6,000,000
3. Clint Dempsey (Seattle) $4,913,004
4. Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) $4,500,000
5. Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) $4,250,000
6. Thierry Henry (New York) $3,750,000
7. Tim Cahill (New York) $3,500,000
8. Obafemi Martins (Seattle) $1,620,000
9. Marco Di Vaio (Montreal) $1,500,000
10. Gilberto (Toronto FC) $1,145,000
11. Pedro Morales (Vancouver) $1,190,000
12. Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy) $1,000,000
13. Kenny Miller (Vancouver) $930,000
14. Maurice Edu (Philadelphia) $650,000
15. Andres Escobar (FC Dallas) $635,000
16. Chris Wondolowski (San Jose) $600,000
17. Federico Higuain (Columbus) $580,000
18. Eddie Johnson (D.C. United) $505,000
19. Diego Valeri (Portland) $500,000
20. Jose Goncalves (New England) $450,000
20. Mauro Rosales (Chivas USA) $450,000