New MLS salary numbers: Drogba, Valdez, Veron, other summer signings
The MLS Players Union has released its latest batch of salary numbers, which include the league's latest summer signings.
As previously reported by SI's Brian Straus, Didier Drogba is on a base salary of $1.67 million this season ($2.17 million in guaranteed compensation, which includes bonuses annualized over the course of a player's full contract) and is set to make $3.5 million over the course of his 18-month MLS contract. Another new Designated Player forward, Seattle's Nelson Valdez, is on a base of just under a million at $960,000 (but making $1.22 million in guaranteed compensation), while Real Salt Lake DP signing Juan Manuel "El Burrito" Martinez is on a base of $710,000 ($1.11 million guaranteed).
The New York Red Bulls' DP signing, Gonzalo Verón, is on a salary of just $200,000.04, which is well short of the DP threshold. The transfer fee the club paid for him gives him the DP distinction.
Toronto FC's addition of U.S. forward Herculez Gomez tacked on another $261,000 to the league's highest overall payroll. His teammate and league MVP candidate Sebastian Giovinco remains the second-highest paid player in the league behind Kaká, and his $7,167,500 in guaranteed compensation.
Elsewhere, the Chicago Fire have Shaun Maloney's $1.59 million off the books after his transfer to Hull City but have assumed Gilberto's $1,144,992 after signing him from Toronto FC in response to losing out on the Drogba sweepstakes.
One of the more noticeable items in the newest release is the jump in LA Galaxy star Giovani dos Santos's guaranteed compensation between the July release when he first signed with the league and Tuesday's numbers. In July, dos Santos was listed at $4,100,008, while he is now up to $5,750,008, good for fifth-highest in the league.
In all, there are 23 players on the books making in the millions (up from 21 during the July salary release) across 14 of the league's 20 teams. Here they are, listed by team (all numbers guaranteed compensation):
CHICAGO FIRE: Gilberto ($1,144,992)
COLUMBUS CREW: Federico Higuain ($1,175,000)
COLORADO RAPIDS: Kevin Doyle ($1,170,000)
LA GALAXY: Steven Gerrard ($6,332,504); Robbie Keane ($4,500,000); Giovani Dos Santos ($5,750,008); Omar Gonzalez ($1,450,000)
MONTREAL IMPACT: Didier Drogba ($2,166,668)
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION: Jermaine Jones ($3,052,500)
NEW YORK CITY FC: Frank Lampard ($6,000,000); David Villa ($5,610,000); Andrea Pirlo ($2,315,694)
ORLANDO CITY SC: Kaká ($7,167,500)
PORTLAND TIMBERS: Liam Ridgewell ($1,150,000)
REAL SALT LAKE: Juan Manuel Martinez ($1,108,666.67)
SEATTLE SOUNDERS: Clint Dempsey ($4,605,941.50); Obafemi Martins ($3,000,000), Nelson Valdez ($1,215,000)
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES: Innocent Emeghara ($1,300,000)
TORONTO FC: Sebastian Giovinco ($7,115,555.67); Michael Bradley ($6,500,000); Jozy Altidore ($4,750,000)
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS: Pedro Morales ($1,410,900)