Examining the Union’s 2023 salary data

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

On May 16 the Major League Soccer Players Association published the latest edition of its salary guide. It states the data is as of April 30, 2023.

Here are the Philadelphia Union’s base salaries. The table includes ‘23’s raise in dollars and notes if a new deal was signed during the offseason. The collective bargaining agreement mandates raises for starts and goals, among other things.

Starting twelve
Player Pos ’23 Base Salary Raise for ‘23 New Contract signed
Andre Blake GK $    775,000 25 K
Kai Wagner LB $    630,000 120 K
Jack Elliott LCB $    750,000 50 K
Jakob Glesnes RCB $    900,000 225 K 21-Mar-23
Olivier Mbaizo RB $    300,000 0 K
Jose Martinez DCM $    275,000 25 K
Leon Flach LCM $    280,000 30 K
Jack McGlynn LCM $    160,000 82.5 K 7-Feb-23
Alejandro Bedoya RCM $    780,000 -120 K 22-Sep-22
Daniel Gazdag AM $ 1,200,000 650 K 4-Jan-23
Julian Carranza S $    950,000 50 K
Mikael Uhre S $ 1,700,000 300 K


Gameday substitutes
Player Pos ’23 Base Salary Raise for ‘23 New Contract signed
Damion Lowe* CB $    275,000 50 K
Nathan Harriel RB $    160,000 70 K 20-Mar-23
Quinn Sullivan S $    120,000  20 K
Chris Donovan S $      68,775 3.23 K
Joaquin Torres* AM $    260,000 30 K 26-Jan-23
Jesus Bueno DCM $    170,000 30 K
Matt Real LB $    140,000 35 K 2-Feb-23
Andres Perea* RCM $    525,000  285 K 6-Dec-22
Joe Bendik GK $    175,000 -75 K 19-Dec-22

*=not with the Union in 2022


Developmental reserves
Player Pos ’23 Base Salary Raise for ‘23 New Contract signed
Brandan Craig CB $    115,000 30 K
Richard Odada DCM $      95,000 11 K
Holden Trent* GK $      67,360 dna
Jeremy Rafanello AM $      85,000 19,5 K
Nelson Pierre** S $      67,360 ?? 21-Feb-23
Anton Sorenson** LB $      95,000 10 K
Gino Portella LCB $    150,000 65 K

*=not a professional in 2022

** =loaned out

It has been an unconfirmed working assumption for the past three seasons that Gino Portella is technically signed to an MLS contract with the Philadelphia Union because when he was signed in January of 2021 Philadelphia Union II was not a member of a recognized league and legally unable to execute contracts. All Union organization documentation lists him as with Union II. Major League Soccer’s website does not include him. Ever since the spring of 2021 the Major League Soccer Players’ Association has listed him as a Philadelphia Union player and published his salary information.

Both Alejandro Bedoya and Joe Bendik took pay cuts to return to the Union in 2023.

A Jose Martinez extension?

One notable number on the chart is Jose Martinez’s guaranteed compensation of $301K. That number is very favorable to the team, earning Martinez a spot on The Athletic‘s 2023 All-Budget team.

On Monday morning, The Athletic‘s Tom Bogert reported that Martinez is nearing a contract extension.

“No deal is done just yet, but final steps are viewed as a formality,” Bogert wrote.

A Martinez signing would guarantee to return for 2024 the central core four of the Union’s starting defense: goalkeeper Andre Blake, left center back Jack Elliott, right center back Jakob Glesnes,  and defensive center midfielder Martinez. Outside backs Kai Wagner and Olivier Mbaizo currently remain uncertain of returning.

(Writer’s follow-up:The Union announced Martinez’s new contract Thursday morning. He is guaranteed for the rest of ’23 and all of 2024 and 2025  with the club holding an option for 2026. We will learn his raise when the Players Association released their Salary Guide update this fall, usually in September.)


While we’re here, let’s check in on how the Union’s Homegrowns are doing at the U-20 World Cup in Argentina.

USA’s Group stage

Group B table

Pts W D L GF GA GD Knockouts
1 USA 9 3 0 0 6 0 +6 Advanced
2 Ecuador 6 2 0 1 11 2 +9 Advanced
3 Slovakia 3 1 0 2 5 4 +1 Advanced
4 Fiji 0 0 0 3 0 16 -16 eliminated

The Union’s players during Group B play

Player Pos Start Sub Min Notes
Brandan Craig CB 3 0 90+90+90 7 crosses v Fiji
Jack McGlynn CM 2 1 90+90+23 Yellow Card v Fiji
Quinn Sullivan W 2 1 65+45+17 Assist, 2nd goal v Slovakia

FIFA match report links (Recommended; different stats):




When McGlynn started, the U. S. clearly played through him.

The US’s knockout route forward 

The United States U20s are the only team from Concacaf to advance to the knockout stages.

The U.S. initiated Round of 16 knockout play yesterday in Mendoza against New Zealand. They kept a fourth clean sheet and scored four goals to win 4-0. Here is the link to the match report.

Brandan Craig played the full match as the central center back in a 3-4-3, picking up an assist on the fourth goal which was headed home from his free kick service. Jack McGlynn started as the deep-lying central midfielder through whom the side most frequently played until he was subbed off after 71 minutes. Quinn Sullivan dressed but did not play.

The U. S. next play in the final match of the Quarterfinal round Sunday, June 4 in Santiago del Estero  against the winner of Gambia v. Uruguay. Early reports that need later checking say the match starts at 6 p.m. eastern and is  broadcast on FS2. The U.S. will play the fifth day after its previous match. Gambia or Uruguay will play on the third.

Brazil could meet that winner in the semis in La Plata, Buenos Aires, should it advance that far against first Tunisia, and then either Uzbekistan or Israel.

A Round of 16 match available watch tonight is England v Italy on FS2, probably at 5 p.m.. Host Argentina play the best third-place team, Nigeria who beat Italy in the group stage 2-0 at the same time, but that contest is not televised here.


  1. Thanks as always for the analysis Tim. Craig has been the player who has impressed me most watching the U-20s (with McGlynn and Luna just behind him). I’m hoping we get to see what he looks like against MLS competition after the tournament. Not too often you see a CB taking (very good) corners.

    • Tim Jones says:

      Last season for Union II Craig served almost every free kick. He scored one against NYC FC, commenting after the match that he had noticed the keeper was out of position and gone for it.
      Remember that his earlier academy years were not played at CB. He was a mid. This season is only his fourth as a CB.

  2. soccerdad720 says:

    martinez is an absolute STEAL. He needs a significant bump. We are a much worse team without him on the field.

  3. Andy Muenz says:

    Update on the US quarterfinal Sunday. Originally Fox2 was going to pick up the game at 6pm live which would have meant 2nd half only, but it looks like they’ve changed so that coverage starts at 4:48 with the game kicking off at 5.

  4. Look out for Nelson Pierre and his younger brother Neil Pierre, they are going to be a force to recon with.

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