The Major League Soccer Players Association has released the year's latest set of salary figures. There isn't much news relating to the Union, except for the salary of new striker Kacper Przybylko. He's earning a modest $67,500 for his short time in Chester this year. We'll see what he'll earn in 2019 if he stays with the team.
No players got mid-season raises during the transition from Earnie Stewart to Ernst Tanner. The only departure was Eric Ayuk, who left in late August for Turkish club Osmanlispor.
The real news was around the rest of MLS. Wayne Rooney's initial salary with D.C. United this year has been revealed to be just under $2.8 milllion. Raúl Ruidíaz, who joined the Seattle Sounders after playing for Peru at this summer's World Cup, is earning just over $2 million.
Michael Mancienne, a former Chelsea defender who spent the last four years at second-tier Nottingham Forest, is earning $1.37 million from the New England Revolution. Portuguese midfielder Andre Horta, who joined LAFC in June, is earning just under $1.2 million.
Lower down the pay scale, former U.S. national team outside back Jorge Villafaña is earning $617,500 in his first season back in Portland after two years in Mexico. The Montreal Impact are paying former Arsenal and Manchester City defender Bacary Sagna $525,000. Atlanta United's Eric Remedi is earning just $300,000 this year after commanding a $2 million transfer fee from Argentina's Banfield.
There have also been a few notable accounting moves. Fanendo Adi's $1.9 million salary has moved from the Timbers' books to FC Cincinnati, as Cincinnati prepares to move up from the USL to MLS next year. Two states west, the Chicago Fire took on Yura Movsisyan's previous MLS contract when the Armenian playmaker returned to the U.S. after a loan move from Real Salt Lake to Swedish club Djurgårdens. Because RSL had waived Movsisyan in addition to loaning him out, he was still entitled to his over $2 million salary. A source said Movsisyan is getting it, but the Fire likely aren't responsible for the entire sum.
Below you'll find interactive charts with the Union's full payroll, the league-wide payroll ranking, and other notable facts and figures from around MLS.
TAM: Salary cap hit paid down with Targeted Allocation Money. HGP: Homegrown Players. Najem counts because the Union acquired his homegrown rights from the New York Red Bulls. A list of all homegrown players league-wide is available here. DP: Designated Player. A list of all such players league-wide is available here. GAM: Salary cap hit paid down with General Allocation Money.
The Union currently have 29 players on their roster. They can have up to 30, plus one under contract who is loaned for the year to their USL affiliate Bethlehem Steel.
This list comes with the perennial caveat that it isn't perfect. Some teams' payrolls include players who are out on loan to other clubs, and some do not. The players union has gotten better about keeping track of this, but some players slip through the cracks at times.
D.C.'s move up is obviously because of Rooney's arrival, and Portland's move down is because of Adi's departure. The changes for Real Salt Lake and Chicago are in part because of Movsysian.
For the first time ever, there are 50 players on Major League Soccer's books making at least $1 million in guaranteed salary per season. That beats the previous record of 46 set at the start of this year. There are some caveats: Ex-Seattle Sounder Clint Dempsey counts even though he's officially retired, and Toronto FC loaned Ager Akexte to Spanish club Cádiz in July.
There are now 694 players across MLS, including Cincinnati's first two MLS signings: Adi and Fatai Alashe. That's 25 more than there were in May.
The overall spending figure and the the mean and median salaries are all the highest in league history. It's the first time ever that total guaranteed compensation league-wide has topped $250 million.
Forty-six players earn the league's lowest salary, or within a few cents of it. The only Union player in that group is Matt Real. Three teams each have the high of four players in the group: the New York Red Bulls, San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders.
In May, there were 42 players at the bottom of the payroll.
Close followers of the U.S. youth national team system will want to know that LAFC's Josh Perez is one of the new additions. The nephew of former U.S. national team player and youth national team coach Hugo Perez moved from Italy's Fiorentina to Los Angeles in August. Josh played at the 2015 Under-17 World Cup on a U.S. team that also included Christian Pulisic, Auston Trusty and Tyler Adams.
As always, the end of this post is reserved for players who spend the least time in the spotlight: those who are members of the MLS Players Association but don't have a club. This does not include Clint Dempsey, whose retirement was noted above.
Here are the latest versions of the charts used to show key MLS salary metrics and changes over time.