Orlando City captain Kaka remains the highest-paid player in MLS, according to figures released Tuesday by the MLS Players Union, with his $7.168 in guaranteed compensation edging Toronto FC star Sebastian Giovinco ($7.116 million) for a third straight season.
Chicago fire newcomer Bastian Schweinsteiger is being paid $5.4 million for this season, according to the figures, while Atlanta United spent over $3 million combined for the DP tandem of Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez–not including their transfer fees.
Michael Bradley remains the highest-paid American in the league, with a $6.5 million salary.
As continues to be the case regarding the Players Union's figures, guaranteed compensation takes into account base salary and signing and guaranteed bonuses annualized over the term of the player's contract–including option years. Bonuses under performance or marketing agreements and other means of income generated are separate and not listed. As a result, the numbers the MLSPU releases are not 100% accurate, but they are an indicator and a reference for the league's payment structure.
The MLSPU numbers also revealed two players signed to 2018 MLS expansion team LAFC, with midfielders Carlos Alvarez (signed and loaned to USL's Orange County Blues) and Monday Bassey Etim on the club's books.
MLS now has 28 players making at least $1 million in guaranteed compensation, which is up five from this time last season, and that is after the likes of Didier Drogba, Robbie Keane, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard departed the league.
Here are the 28 in the seven-figure club, sorted by club. FC Dallas, the reigning Supporters' Shield winner and last remaining unbeaten team this season, does not employ any of them:
Atlanta United: Miguel Almiron ($2.3 million), Josef Martinez ($1.04 million)
Chicago Fire: Bastian Schweinsteiger ($5.4 million), Nemanja Nikolic ($1.91 million)
Colorado Rapids: Tim Howard ($2.48 million), Shkelzen Gashi ($1.67 million), Kevin Doyle ($1.05 million)
Columbus Crew SC: Federico Higuain ($1.05 million)
LA Galaxy: Giovani Dos Santos ($5.5 million), Romain Alessandrini ($2 million)
New York City FC: Andrea Pirlo ($5.92 million), David Villa ($5.61 million), Maxi Moralez ($2 million)
New York Red Bulls: Bradley Wright-Phillips ($1.64 million)
Orlando City SC: Kaka ($7.17 million)
Philadelphia Union: Alejandro Bedoya ($1.2 million)
Portland Timbers: Diego Valeri ($2.607 Fanendo Adi (1.74 million), Sebastian Blanco ($1.08 million), Lucas Melano ($1.01 million)* Melano is out on loan
Real Salt Lake: Yura Movsisyan ($1.97 million)
Seattle Sounders: Clint Dempsey ($3.89 million), Nicolas Lodeiro ($1.74 million), Osvaldo Alonso ($1.14 million)
Toronto FC: Sebastian Giovinco ($7.12 million) Michael Bradley ($6.5 million), Jozy Altidore ($4.88 million)
Vancouver Whitecaps: Fredy Montero ($1.8 million)