From College to the Pros - The US soccer ladder

Monday, May 07, 2007

More on MLS salaries...FCTP style...

Over the weekend I was able to do some further number crunching. What I found was somewhat positive. Let's take a look.

There are 79 rookies on the books in MLS making a total of $1,682,200 Base and $2,072,025 Guaranteed. That is an average of $21,294/$26,228. While that isn't good money by anyone's standards consider this, these kids are being payed to play a game they love and they don't work a 40 hour week like the rest of us. There is time for part time jobs, just ask Troy Perkins, there is time for coaching, etc. I'd argue those making the average or more are doing ok for fresh out of college kids.

Here is where I see the silver lining. There are 63 sophomore players on the books making a total of $1,839,445 Base and $2,232,528 Guaranteed. So the average sophomore player is making $28,459/$34,210. That is a 37%/35% increase respectively. What MLS is doing is telling these young kids, work hard, play well and you'll get rewarded.

Here are some examples of sophomore players who stepped up to the plate, had solid rookie seasons and were rewarded with bigger deals. All numbers below will be guaranteed numbers and the percentage is the increase between 2006 and 2007.
Jonathan Bornstein: $28,000/$57,500 - 105%
Willis Forko: $16,500/$30,000 - 82%
Atiba Harris: $16,500/$30,000 - 82%
Mehdi Ballouchy: $63,000/$88,000 - 40%
Jacob Peterson: $63,750/$88,750 - 39%
Patrick Ianni: $78,000/$103,000 - 32%
Sacha Kljestan: $78,000/$103,000 - 32%
Nathan Sturgis: $78,000/$103,000 - 32%
Jason Garey: $45,000/$53,750 - 19%
Willie Sims: $37,500/$43,000 - 15%

Please note, I am assuming these are performance based bonuses because these are kids who played well in their rookie seasons. There is a chance that the increase was negotiated into the player's contract, especially in the case of the bigger names like Ianni, Kljestan and Sturgis. All three of these guys are Generation Adidas players, so is Sims. However, not all Generation Adidas players got this kind of raise (see Blake Wagner). Without being told how these contracts were structured, I can't say for sure...but it is my hypothesis.

Looking at what MLS players earn is always interesting. It certainly isn't Baseball, Football or Basketball money, but things are moving in the right direction. Hopefully we'll see more years of raises for the young guys and hopefully the top talent can be snared before they leave for European pastures.

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