There’s a new highest paid player in Major League Soccer and yes, your first guess is correct.
When the LA Galaxy re-signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic to a Designated Player contract before the season, they made the Swedish icon the highest paid player in the league. Ibrahimovic makes $7.2 million in 2019, according to the latest numbers released Wednesday by the MLS Players Association.
It’s about $100,000 more than last year’s highest paid player, Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco, pulled in.
With his play on the field — Ibrahimovic has 11 goals and three assists in 12 matches this season after 22 goals and 10 assists in 27 appearances a year ago — as well as his effect on the box office, especially for road games and his overall marketability, it’s clear Ibrahimovic is worth the hefty price tag.
Across town, LAFC’s Carlos Vela is on track to set a new single-season record for goals scored and run away with the league’s MVP trophy, but he’s somewhat of a bargain at $4.5 million base salary and $6.3 in guaranteed compensation.
That’s not the second highest salary, though. Toronto FC’s Michael Bradley ($6,428,571) and Jozy Altidore ($6,332,250) both bring in more guaranteed money.
A year ago, Josef Martinez shattered the league’s single-season goal record with 31 in 34 appearances, won the MVP and helped lead Atlanta United to the MLS Cup title. He signed a five-year contract extension in January that pays him $3 million in base salary with another $58K in guaranteed compensation
Among the new big signings to the league in 2019, Toronto FC playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo is pulling in $3.8 million this season, Orlando City SC’s Nani is earning $2.4 million in guaranteed compensation
Perhaps another sign of their youth movement, previous big spenders New York City FChave just one millionaire on their roster — Maxi Moralez, who is making $2M in 2019. Their big signings, Heber, who has six goals and three assists in 10 appearances, and Alexandru Mitrita, who was signed to a Designated Player contract, are making $788,750 and $500,000, respectively.
According to the MLSPA, the average base salary for non-Designated Players has increased 150 percent over the last five years, from $138,140 in 2014 to $345,867 in 2019. It is the eighth consecutive year the average base salary increased.
For senior roster spots 10 through 18 on an MLS roster, salaries grew more than 10 percent per year over the last five years, according to the MLSPA.
Other news - MLS
- 01:00 Leeds United, interest in Valentin Castellanos persists
- 00:04 Taty Castellanos transfer latest: NYCFC maintain $15 million valuation
- 23:31 NYCFC, David Lee: "Cushing is a fantastic coach"
- 23:00 NYCFC, Nick Cushing: "It's A Huge Privilege To Lead The Team"
- 22:37 Ronny Deila leaves NYCFC: replaced by Nick Cushing
- 20:46 OFFICIAL - Chiellini is a new player of LAFC
- 09:59 NYCFC coach Ronny Deila "in conversations" with Standard Liège of Belgium
- 23:49 New York City FC, solid team and iron defense
- 23:25 NYCFC, the dream of getting Leo Messi vanishes
- 21:00 Kickoff Times Announced for Hudson River Derby and Matches Against Charlotte FC
- 20:04 #NYCFC, Ronny Deila: "Today We Showed How To Win Away"
- 20:30 Deila on Castellanos: "He goes 100% in every challenge"
- 20:00 D.C.UNITED vs NYCFC, Deila: "It's a tough game"
- 19:18 NYCFC extend Maxime Chanot contract through 2024 MLS season
- 18:30 #NYCFC, a young team with a great future
- 17:00 #NYCFC, Maxi Moralez gives more depth to the team
- 15:30 #NYCFC, Talles Magno ne striker of the Blues
- 14:00 #NYCFC, strong finish at Yankee Stadium
- 16:00 NYCFC 2 - 0 Columbus Crew: Match Highlights - VIDEO
- 15:00 #NYCFC Deila on Maxi Moralez: “He is the smartest football player on that pitch"
- 13:55 #NYCFC, Ronny Deila: "We Have Been Consistent"
- 21:27 NYCFC, Two Questionable For Columbus Crew
- 21:21 #NYCFC, Ronny Deila: "We Are Prepared For Columbus"
- 16:00 Deila: "It wasn’t our best day but at the same time we get a point"
- 15:00 NYCFC 0 - 0 Sporting Kansas City: Match Highlights - VIDEO
- 14:51 #NYCFCSKC, Ronny Deila: "We Defended Really Well"
- 20:00 NYCFC, Maxime Chanot is available but will have to wear a mask
- 18:30 Kansas City, four players out against New York City FC
- 17:00 NYCFC, two out against Kansas. Castellanos is questionable
- 15:30 Ronny Deila on Talles Magno: "I am very happy with the progress he has made"
- 14:00 NYCFC, Deila: "I hope for the support of many fans"
- 10:04 NYCFC, Ronny Deila: "You Cannot Underestimate Kansas"
- 23:00 NYCFC, Maxi Moralez and Thiago Martins are available against San Jose Earthquakes
- 22:30 NYCFC, Ronny Deila: "It's very important to play in front of our fans"
- 21:56 #NYCFCSJEARTHQUAKES, Ronny Deila: "We Must Match Their Intensity"
- 21:56 NYCFC vs Seattle Sounders, Ronny Deila: "We Must Attack The Situation"
- 21:52 NYCFC, two key players out for the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal
- 16:00 NYCFC, hunt for the first goal of the season in MLS
- 15:00 New York City FC, Ronny Deila: "We missed our fans"
- 17:00 NYCFC, clean sheet but the attack is sterile
- 16:01 Vancouver Whitecaps 0-0 NYCFC, Deila: "We didn't take our chances"
- 15:44 NYCFC: first point won, victory postponed
- 19:00 NYCFC Signs Academy Product Maximo Carrizo
- 17:54 New York City FC, good performance but bitter result for the Blues