The always-anticipated list is out.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived: the day when MLS salaries are released. And it always seems to make for some interesting social media fodder, specifically “They’re paying Player X that much money to do nothing!” or “They should have spent that money on Player Y instead of Player X.”
Of course, that would never happen in the good old ATL.
$667,500 a year to not mark anybody in the box
— Watke Appreciator (@PulisicIsMyDad) May 17, 2022
So they are paying Lenon the money they wouldn’t pay Gressel?
— Yannick Kalukuta(约翰逊·卡鲁库塔) (@yanrice2) May 17, 2022
I digress. Anyway, here’s what you came for, along with some observations. (If you’re having trouble viewing it for any reason, click here.)
Atlanta United’s highest player (based on total compensation) is Josef Martinez at a cool $4.14 million, making him the 6th highest-paid player in the league. Luiz Araujo, at $3.941 million, is 2 slots behind at No. 8. That’s a flip-flop from last year when Araujo was the highest-paid player on the team, with him and Martinez 5th and 6th on the league list, respectively.
Here’s the entire top 10:
- Xherdan Shaqiri, Chicago Fire FC | $8.153 million
- Chicharito, LA Galaxy | $6 million
- Gonzalo Higuain, Inter Miami CF | $5,793,750
- Alejandro Pozuelo, Toronto FC | $4,693,000
- Jozy Altidore, New England Revolution | $4,264,963
- Josef Martinez, Atlanta United | $4,141,667
- Carlos Vela, LAFC | $4.050 million
- Luiz Araujo, Atlanta United | $3,941,667
- Lucas Zelarayan, Columbus Crew | $3.7 million
- Carles Gil, New England Revolution | $3,545,833
Atlanta United’s payroll is the highest in MLS
Some skeptics would say that some of it isn’t money well spent, but Atlanta United are the top spenders in the league at just under $21 million ($20,999,272, to be exact). Right behind them are the LA Galaxy at $20.1 million. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not surprising to see Atlanta at the top of this list considering Josef Martinez’s contract and the investment it made in bringing in Luiz Araujo from Lille. This doesn’t include the over $1.63 million committed to Jurgen Damm as the club bought him out in the offseason.
Meanwhile, Thiago Alamda, in February, is set to make just over $2.3 million, putting him just outside the top 20.
Brad Guzan wasn’t the only Atlanta United player to take a pay cut
It was already public knowledge that Brad Guzan took a pay cut in order for the club to free up some cash. We now know how much: $346,784. Compared to his 2022 budget number of $805,000, that’s a 43 percent decrease.
But some other players saw their own contracts restructured, specifically Emerson Hyndman, who made $900,000 last year but will make $657,143 this year (nearly 27 percent less). Of course, his injury played into that. Ezequiel Barco, meanwhile, is making $2.2 million this year (down from $2.358 million in 2021) as Atlanta retain his rights for now with him on loan with River Plate.
Also taking a significant pay cut from his 2021 salary with the Seattle Sounders to reunite with Gonzalo Pineda in Atlanta was Ozzie Alonso, who made $322K last year but opted for the league’s senior minimum salary of $81,375. It’s truly unfortunate to see him on the injured list for the rest of the season as you wonder what Atlanta’s place in the standings would be with him on the field.
Which Atlanta United players saw a pay increase?
Josef Martinez tops the list with his contract, in its second-to-last year, calling for him to command a quarter-million more than he did last season. Alan Franco (+$162K), Franco Ibarra (+$150K), Santiago Sosa (+$140K), and Brooks Lennon (+$125K) also see bumps in pay versus 2021’s numbers, with Lennon’s contract also expiring last year.
What are your thoughts? Drop them in the comments below.