Friday morning, the MLS Players' Union released updated salary figures for every player in the 2015 season. These figures represent the hit that teams take against the salary cap for each player and are generally not accepted as final salary figures. The current 2015 salary cap is $3.49m, gradually increasing to $4.24m in 2019.
Teams can and often do use salary mechanisms like allocation money to ease their cap burden. There are now two types (General and Targeted) that accomplish the same effect - pay down a player's salary cap hit. In addition, players have various signing and performance bonuses, sponsorship deals, and other arrangements that are not factored into the numbers that MLS Players' Union releases. MLS does not release their salary information for comparison but does regularly contend that the salary numbers released by the Players' Union are inaccurate.
The first number you see refers to a player's base salary. The second number to the right refers to a player's guaranteed compensation for the year. What's the difference? The "guaranteed" number includes any contract bonuses (specific to that player) that are scheduled to be dispersed in the 2015 season.
This also serves as the first look at salary numbers for the flood of Designated Players entering the league. Some highlights include (numbers reported are guaranteed):
- Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy) - $4.1m
- Steven Gerrard (LA Galaxy) - $6.3m
- Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) - $4.5m
- Jermaine Jones (NE Revolution) - $3.0m
- Frank Lampard (NYCFC) - $6.0m
- Andrea Pirlo (NYCFC) - $2.3m
- David Villa (NYCFC) - $5.6m
- Kaka (OCSC) - $7.1m
- Clint Dempsey (SSFC) - $4.6m
- Obafemi Martins (SSFC) - $3.0m
- Jozy Altidore (TFC) - $4.7m
- Michael Bradley (TFC) - $6.5m
- Giovinco (TFC) - $7.1m