Saturday, 20 Apr 2024

How Much do Soccer Players Make in MLS?

how much do soccer players make

Have you ever wondered how much soccer players make in Major League Soccer (MLS)? It’s a question that many people have, whether out of curiosity, comparison with European salaries, or considering a professional career in soccer. As an attorney with nearly two decades of experience, I understand the importance of providing accurate information. So, let’s take a deep dive into the numbers and shed some light on MLS player salaries.

MLS Salary Guide: An Insider’s Perspective

MLS releases a “Salary Guide” twice per season, which contains salary information for all players under contract. Tackling the intricacies of MLS salary rules, we’ll analyze the Current Annualized Base Salary and the Annualized Average Guaranteed Compensation of players. The Guaranteed Compensation includes bonuses, signing fees, and base salary. Let’s dig into the numbers and explore some noteworthy insights.

A Glimpse into MLS Salaries

  • The average Guaranteed Compensation for all players in the league is approximately $515,000.
  • Designated Players, the highest-paid players, have an average Guaranteed Compensation of about $2,320,000.
  • Among the top 50 salaries, only four are for non-Designated Players, including Jozy Altidore, Gareth Bale, Damir Kreilach, and Ricard Puig.
  • The majority of top earners are forwards, with only one defender, Walker Zimmerman, making the top 25 salary list.
  • Toronto FC leads the pack with the highest total Guaranteed Compensation, followed by LA Galaxy and Inter Miami.
Tham Khảo Thêm:  Lionel Messi's Children: A Glimpse into the Lives of Messi's Sons

Designated Players: The Highest Earners

Some interesting insights emerge when we examine the Designated Players’ salaries across different MLS teams.

MLS Designated Players

According to the data:

  • Toronto FC pays its Designated Players the most on average, with Lorenzo Insigne’s $14 million contract taking the top spot.
  • LA Galaxy boasts notable salaries for Chicharito ($7 million) and Douglas Costa ($5.8 million).
  • Chicago Fire invests in Shaqiri with an $8.5 million guaranteed contract.
  • Inter Miami compensates Gonzalo Higuain with almost $5.8 million per year.

Non-Designated Players: Where Do They Stand?

Non-Designated Players also play a significant role in MLS, so let’s take a look at the teams that pay their non-Designated Players the most and the least.

MLS Non-Designated Players

  • LAFC leads the way in compensating non-Designated Players, with an average salary of nearly $450,000.
  • Toronto FC and LA Galaxy closely follow, with average salaries of almost $445,000 and $430,000, respectively.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, NY Red Bulls pay their non-Designated Players the least, with an average salary of just over $252,000.
  • Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, and Houston Dynamo also fall into the lower range of non-Designated Player salaries.

MLS Salaries: A Breakdown of Base Salaries

Now, let’s dive into MLS Base Salaries, providing a comprehensive breakdown of player earnings.

  • 116 players (13.0%) earn the Reserve minimum salary of $65,500.
  • 238 players (26.7%) earn a Senior minimum salary of $84,000 or less.
  • 290 players (32.5%) earn less than $100,000.
  • 123 players (13.8%) earn between $100,000 and $199,999.
  • 85 players (9.5%) earn between $200,000 and $299,999.
  • 82 players (9.2%) earn between $300,000 and $399,999.
  • 59 players (6.6%) earn between $400,000 and $499,999.
  • 217 players (24.3%) earn between $500,000 and $999,999.
  • 94 players (10.5%) earn more than $1,000,000.
Tham Khảo Thêm:  The Most Attractive Footballers of 2024

These figures reveal that a significant number of players in MLS earn six-figure salaries. In fact, 63.5% of players fall into this category, with 24.3% earning between $500,000 and $1,000,000.


As MLS continues to grow, the league’s salaries are becoming more competitive. The minimum salaries offered are comparable, if not better, than what college graduates might earn in various fields. For example, a soccer player starting with a base salary of $65,500 makes more than graduates in agriculture and natural sciences, business, communications, humanities, social sciences, computer sciences, engineering, and math-related fields. These figures highlight the promising earning potential for young players entering the world of professional soccer.

While it’s difficult to make direct comparisons between MLS and European salaries, given the differing histories and contexts of the leagues, it’s evident that MLS is making significant strides in compensating its players. In the future, we’ll explore average salaries across Europe’s soccer leagues to gain a broader perspective.

If you have any questions about MLS salaries or require further information, feel free to explore Pesstatsdatabase or reach out to our team. We’re here to provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate insights in the world of soccer.


Q: Are MLS salaries comparable to European salaries?
A: Comparing MLS salaries to European salaries isn’t straightforward due to the different histories and contexts of the leagues. However, MLS is making progress in compensating its players competitively.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  Soccer Players Who Made Number 21 Legendary

Q: Who is the highest-paid player in MLS?
A: Currently, Lorenzo Insigne of Toronto FC holds the highest Designated Player salary, earning $14 million.

Q: What is the average salary for non-Designated Players in MLS?
A: On average, non-Designated Players in MLS earn around $325,000.

Q: How many players earn a base salary of $65,500 in MLS?
A: Approximately 116 players (13.0%) earn the Reserve minimum salary of $65,500.

Q: What percentage of MLS players earn six-figure salaries?
A: About 63.5% of MLS players earn six-figure salaries, with 24.3% earning between $500,000 and $1,000,000.

Q: What is the total Guaranteed Compensation for Toronto FC?
A: Toronto FC has the highest total Guaranteed Compensation for all players, surpassing $32 million.


MLS salaries have come a long way since the league’s inception. As MLS continues to evolve, player salaries have become more competitive, attracting top talent from around the world. With promising earning potential and exciting growth opportunities, MLS offers a viable career path for aspiring soccer players. Whether you’re a fan or a prospective player, staying updated on the latest salary trends is vital.

At Pesstatsdatabase, we strive to provide the most comprehensive and accurate information on MLS and soccer in general. Visit our website here to explore more insightful content and stay informed about the ever-changing world of soccer.