MLS salaries: The winners, the losers, the bargains

Richard Eckersley: $390K

Today, the MLS Players Union released its updated list of salaries for 2012. Let’s take a look at the winners and losers…

(For a full list of who’s making what, click HERE)

WINNERS:
• Richard Eckersley, Toronto FC — Guaranteed 2012 compensation: $390,000
Eckersley is a classic example of the type of athlete who is popular in Toronto. A journeyman kinda guy who works exceptionally hard. He fits the archetype of a Dan Gargan, John McDonald, Matt Bonner, James Reimer — working-class guys who blow up in a Toronto market that eats superstars alive but worships the depth-chart players. Even though his positional play needs a lot of work, and that his hard work often has to make up for mental errors on the field, he makes almost four times what Chance Myers makes in Sporting Kansas City. He makes more than twice as much as Young-Pyo Lee makes in Vancouver.

• Miguel Aceval, Toronto FC — $199,086.72
Can’t find a regular starting job on the backline. Creates a huge hole in TFC’s salary cap. It’s nice to get paid handsomely for a job that you don’t have to do.

• Camilo, Vancouver, — $237,500
Camilo wanted a raise, got a raise. He makes almost $60,000 more than Sebastien Le Toux.

• Dwayne De Rosario, D.C. United — $663,190.53
De Rosario isn’t a Designated Player, yet he makes more money than DP teammates Branko Boskovic and Hamdi Salihi. That’s a crazy cap hit that DCU is willing to take — but the MVP finally did get someone to sign the cheque for him. But, De Rosario, unlike some other players in the league making that kind of money, continues to earn his keep, playing like a man who isn’t anywhere near his thirtysomethings. He wanted the cheque, and he had an MVP season as an audition.

• Andrew Hainault, Houston —$163,125
One of the steadiest centre backs in MLS, the Canadian national-teamer is the second-highest paid defender on the Dynamo. Still, he does make less than Aceval.

LOSERS:
• Ashtone Morgan, Toronto FC — $44,000
If TFC Academy wants to hold onto players, the senior team needs to show that Academy grads will have the chance to be promoted through the system and get significant salary rises. If the Academy is simply used as a cheap-labour factory — and players are released or move on once they ask for what would constitute a decent wage — then there will be growing mistrust. Morgan, the Canadian U-20 player of the Year, is still on a beginning wage. If, down the road, as a regular MLS starter, he can’t jump to $60K or $80K, there will be problems down the road. Trust me… parents of players going to academies watch this kind of stuff, and make decisions on where they will send their kids based on how they see Academy graduates being treated — and paid — when they get to the senior ranks. You don’t send your child to university so he or she can get a $40K Joe job. You don’t send a kid to a professional soccer Academy so he can be a $40K player.

• Evan James, Montreal — $33,750
No, James hasn’t played for the Impact’s first team. He was selected in the supplemental draft, which decreases his value. But this is here to show why so many young players decide to leave their playing days behind and go into coaching, which is more lucrative. You have to really love the game to be on this salary.

BARGAINS
• Reggie Lambe, Toronto FC — $62,500

Has been very good on the wing for Toronto FC and has scored some highlight-reel goals for the club.

• Nelson Rivas, Montreal — $50,000
Injuries made him an Inter Milan player pretty well in name only. But the Colombian has been fine when thrust into games. And he makes only a quarter of what Aceval does.

RELATED:
De Rosario salary question will eventually be answered by the MLSPU (CLICK)

Impact takes major gamble with signing of Rivas (CLICK)

Share

About Steven Sandor

I'm currently the colour commentator for FC Edmonton broadcasts on Sportsnet, NASL.com and TEAM 1260. I've covered the Toronto FC beat for four years, worked for the Edmonton Aviators of the USL for a season, covered the Edmonton Drillers of the NPSL and started covering Canadian World Cup qualifiers in 1996. I've covered the CONCACAF Champions League and the U-20 World Cup. I'm passionate about soccer in North America.