Roster News / Union

Gleanings from the MLSPA fall ’21 Salary Guide

Feature Photo PSP media archives

On Wednesday last week the Major League Soccer Players Association updated Major League Soccer salaries as of September 30, 2021.

The  value of the information for Philadelphia Union fans is that it will inform roster-building decisions for next year. The first such decision will be whom to protect in the as-yet-unannounced Charlotte FC Expansion Draft. Recent custom has been that such drafts occur after a brief trade window both opens and closes within two days or less immediately after MLS Cup is played. So Union decision-makers have been thinking for a while, and are probably finalizing plans and strategies.

As a collective item the Union salary information itself  contains no blockbuster news.

  • None of the players who has signed contract extension since 2021’s roster compliance day has any change to their data listed. Given the cash flow situations all across MLS with individual games’ gate revenues only beginning to flow in, finishing current contracts on this year’s terms makes sense from the payers’ points of view. Two Union players have signed new deals for more than one year  since the cutoff for the spring report, so their fall numbers are the same as last spring, Andre Blake and Olivier Mbaizo. We will not learn the new numbers until about a month after 2022’s roster compliance day, if 2022’s pattern follows 2021.
  • Among Union players signed to initial contracts after April 15th – or re-signed on a one year deal — there are no surprises, given selling leagues’ identities, players’ levels of experience, and the game’s positional scarcities.
Initial Contracts Re-signed for one year only
  Signed Tot Comp   Signed Tot Comp
Stuart Findlay 25-Feb-21 $425,000 Aurelien Collin 2-Apr-21 $  81,375
Leon Flach 31-Mar-21 $223,750
Daniel Gazdag 11-May-21 $336,250
Alvas Powell 10-Jun-21 $  88,875
Davo 27-Jul-21 $253,000
Jesus Bueno 29-Jul-21 $  96,753
Observations
  • It is ironic that of the three major center-backs Jack Elliott is the lowest paid. But he has never played in Europe. And he is the longest-tenured with the Union, so he started out a lot lower.
  • That it took until June 10th to sign Alvas Powell now makes sense when that we see the money he had to accept. The Sporting Director is known to be a tough negotiator, and by June he had probably spent most, if not all, of his budget. So persuading Powell was probably tough and tight. Remember that Tanner might already have been planning for Bueno and Davo when the Powell opportunity arose.
  • And it is ironic that the new young defensive midfielder who has already gotten meaningful game minutes is so much lower paid than the striker who has been seen only once. But Venezuela lacks the cachet of Brazil, and strikers command big money.
An unofficial 2021 Union salary cap structure

To put the new data in perspective, here is PSP’s unconfirmed, informal estimate of the current first-team salary structure. (Exponents following the abbreviations under “category” note how many of each type there are.)

 

2021 Estimated Salary Cap Roster Categories
Name 2021 Salary Category Signed Current Contract
Slot
Senior Roster: Slots 1-20
1 Jamiro Monteiro $1,476,250 INTL1, DP Jan 10, ‘20 ’21, ’22, O ‘23
2 Alejandro Bedoya $1,023,333 Feb 27, ‘20 ’21, O ‘22
3 Kacper Przybylko $916,250 GC5 Feb 28, ‘20 ’21, ’22, ‘23
4 Sergio Santos $728,500 INTL2 Dec 14, ‘18 ‘21
5 Andre Blake $650,000 GC1 Jul 15, ‘21 0 ‘21
6 Kai Wagner $521,000 GC3 Feb 6, ‘19 ‘21, ’22, O’23
7 Ilsinho $501,250 GC2 Jan 24, ‘20 O ‘21
8 Jakob Glesnes $448,125 INTL3 Jan 31, ‘20 ’21, O ’22, O ‘23
9 Stuart Findlay $425,000 INTL5 Feb 25, ’21 21, ’22, O ’23
10 Jack Elliott $340,000 GC4 May 22, ‘19 ’21, O ‘22
11 Daniel Gazdag $336,250 INTL6 May 11, ’21 21,’22,’23, O ’24, O 25′
12 Matheus Davo $253,000 INTL9 Jul 27, ’21 21, option to buy22
13 Jose Martinez $251,250 INTL4 Dec 23, ‘19 ’21, ‘22, O ’23, O ’24
14 Leon Flach $223,750 Mar 31, ’21 21, ’22, O ’23, O ’24
15 Joe Bendik $200,000 Mar 5, ’21 21
16 Olivier Mbaizo $89,513 GC6 Aug 17, ‘21 21, ’22, O ’23?, O ’24?
17 Alvas Powell $88,875 GC8 Jun 10, ’21 21
18 Aurelien Collin $81,375 GC7 Apr 2, ’21 21
19
20
Supplemental Roster: Sots 21-24
21 Cory Burke $400,770 INTL7 Dec 2, ‘20  ‘21, ’22, O ‘23
22 Matt Real $90,000 HG2 Jan 18, ‘18 O ‘21
23
24 Jesus Bueno $96,753 INTL8 Jul 29, ’21 21, 22. 23, O 24, O 25
Supplemental Roster: Slots 25-28
25 Anthony Fontana $108,426 HG5 17-Jul-17 O ‘21
26 Nate Harriel $87,500 HG6 17-Jul-20 ‘21
27 Jack McGlynn $78,892 HG7 Aug 17, ‘20 ‘21
28 Paxten Aaronson $91,500 HG8 Aug 19, ‘20 ‘21
29 Matt Freese $115,500 HG1 Mar 16, ’21 ‘21, ’22, O ’23, O ’24
Supplemental Roster: Slots 29-30
30 Quinn Sullivan $67,047 HG10 Nov 12, ‘20 ‘21
Signed
z Brandan Craig $77,825 HG9 Nov 12, ‘20 ‘21
y Selmir Miscic $70,026 special Mar 18, ’21 loan to NC FC
x Gino Portella $71,615 special Jan 1, ’21 Union II
w [Anton Sorenson] $66,547 [HG] Jan 1, ’22 future
v
Loaned Out
u Matej Oravec (Sr) $284,500 INTL10 Jan 20, ‘20 ’21, ’22, O’23
t Jack de Vries (21-4) $135,556 HG4 Aug 20, ‘19 ‘21
s Cole Turner (21-24) $88,444 HG3 17-Jul-19 ‘21

Notes:

  • For those wondering the fall ’21 MLSPA Salary Guide lists Greg Ranjitsingh as a Major League Soccer pool goalkeeper.
  • Age will force Matt Freese out of  Supplemental Roster 25-28 category once he is over 24, so for the 2023 season.
  • Before being loaned out to El Paso of USL Championship, Cole Turner occupied slot 23 above.
  • The last two senior roster slots are permitted to be occupied, but are not required to be. So far Ernst Tanner has always left them unfilled. He has said he prefers to give that money to the  players already on the roster.

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