Thursday, 25 Jul 2024

Analyzing 2023 MLS Player Salaries: Key Insights

The release of the Major League Soccer (MLS) Player Salaries always sparks excitement among football enthusiasts. With the figures now public, let’s delve into the details and draw some interesting takeaways. From salary mysteries to team payrolls and player performance, this article will provide a fresh perspective on the 2023 MLS Player Salaries.

Questioning Jordi Alba’s Salary

When discussing the salaries, Lionel Messi’s record-breaking contract naturally dominates the headlines. But let’s not overlook Jordi Alba’s compensation of $1,250,000. Considering Alba made $40,000,000 last season at Barcelona, it’s curious why he would accept such a drastic pay cut just to play in the semi-tropical climate of Miami. The plot thickens.

NYCFC’s Mid-Table Payroll

New York City FC (NYCFC) seems to have a mid-table payroll, with a total of around $15 million, making them the 16th highest in the league. However, when adjusting for players on loan, their payroll drops to around $14.5 million, potentially placing them on par with the Colorado Rapids. It’s worth noting that spending big doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, as the three clubs with the largest payrolls will miss the MLS Cup Playoffs this year.

NYCFC Players

Thiago Martins: Highest-Paid Defender in MLS

Thiago Martins, with a salary of $2,112,000, not only remains the highest earner at NYCFC for the second consecutive year but also stands as the highest-paid defender in MLS. Walker Zimmerman of Nashville SC may have a higher base salary, but his guaranteed compensation falls short at $2,056,979.

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Matías Pellegrini’s Financial Success

Despite not showcasing the best on-field performance, Matías Pellegrini had a highly rewarding year financially. Earning over $1.1 million, Pellegrini is the fourth-highest-paid player at NYCFC, just behind the three Designated Players. It’s intriguing to see how financial success can sometimes overshadow on-field contributions.

NYCFC’s Shrewd Summer Signings

During the summer transfer window, NYCFC made six new signings, marking their busiest transfer period in club history. The salaries of these players fall comfortably within the MLS salary cap, allowing sporting director David Lee flexibility in reshaping the roster during the upcoming offseason. Keep an eye on Mounsef Bakrar, whose guaranteed compensation of $432,720 suggests he may serve as a secondary striker. Will Lee further bolster the strike force in the winter?

Gabriel Segal: MLS’s Diamond in the Rough

Gabriel Segal, earning the league minimum salary of $67,360, has emerged as one of the biggest bargains in MLS. He not only scored two crucial goals but also joined the ranks of New England Revolution’s Noel Buck as a fantastic bargain performer in the league. Segal’s contributions, far surpassing expectations for his pay grade, undeniably played a significant role in salvaging draws and earning key points for NYCFC.

Héber’s Transition

Former NYCFC striker Héber, now with the Seattle Sounders, is making $1,019,000 this year. While he didn’t replicate his previous season’s success, where he netted eight goals, Héber’s presence is still felt on the field, contributing two goals and one assist in 1061 minutes. It’s satisfying to see his transition going well.

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Q: Where can I find the complete 2023 MLS Player Salaries?
A: You can find the detailed MLS Player Salaries on the official Pesstatsdatabase website.

Q: Which teams have the highest payrolls in MLS?
A: Inter Miami, largely due to Lionel Messi’s record-breaking contract, boasts the highest payroll in MLS, followed closely by other big-spending teams like Toronto FC and LA Galaxy.

Q: Are high-spending teams performing well in MLS?
A: Surprisingly, this year’s MLS Cup Playoffs will see the absence of the three highest-spending teams. Inter Miami is still a work-in-progress, while Toronto FC and LA Galaxy have struggled to live up to expectations.


The 2023 MLS Player Salaries reveal interesting insights into the financial dynamics of the league. From questionable salary cuts to team payrolls and player performance, MLS continues to capture our attention. As the season progresses, keep an eye on the players who outshine their salaries, making a significant impact on the field and shaping the league’s narrative.