Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

NYCFC Player Salary Report Card: Evaluating Value and Performance

Last week, the Major League Soccer Player Association released the salaries of MLS players for 2023. While Hudson River Blue provided some takeaways, I aim to go a step further and grade each New York City FC (NYCFC) player’s salary based on their performance in the starting lineup.

Thiago Martins, $2.11 million

Thiago Martins, the highest-paid player on NYCFC’s roster, is also the highest-paid center-back in Major League Soccer. While he has shown moments of dominance, his consistency does not always justify his high salary.

Thiago Martins

Grade: B-

Santiago Rodriguez, $1.33 million

Santiago Rodriguez, a talented attacker, offers great value at a Designated Player salary of $1.33 million. His versatility, scoring ability, and young age make him a bargain compared to other players in his position.

Santiago Rodriguez

Grade: A

Talles Magno, $1.20 million

At just $1.20 million per year, Talles Magno’s potential and current production make him a steal. With his young age and contract until 2026, NYCFC can expect even more from this talented Brazilian forward in the future.

Talles Magno

Grade: A

Matías Pellegrini, $1.12 million

Matías Pellegrini’s performance on the field does not live up to his salary. The absence of goals and assists raises concerns, although his age and potential transfer value mitigate the disappointment.

Matías Pellegrini

Grade: C-

James Sands, $1.06 million

Retaining James Sands and signing him to a new deal was a shrewd move by NYCFC. Sands offers great value compared to other midfielders playing a similar role in the league. His desire to play in Europe adds to his overall worth.

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James Sands

Grade: A

Braian Cufré, $750,880

Braian Cufré’s abilities are still being discovered, making it difficult to judge his true value. Although his salary is relatively high, it remains to be seen how he will contribute to the team’s success.

Braian Cufré

Grade: B-

Alfredo Morales, $662,250

Alfredo Morales’ recent struggles may affect his performance rating this season. However, his crucial role in NYCFC’s 2021 MLS Cup victory should not be forgotten. While his salary might not be justified this season, his past contributions add value.

Alfredo Morales

Grade: B-

Gabriel Pereira, $659,500

Gabriel Pereira’s goal-scoring contributions and overall performance make him one of NYCFC’s best attacking players. With his age and length of the contract, NYCFC secured a great deal.

Gabriel Pereira

Grade: A+

Keaton Parks, $550,000

Keaton Parks offers quality on the field for a reasonable salary. His injury record may raise some concerns, but his abilities and potential outweigh those risks.

Keaton Parks

Grade: B+

Maxime Chanot, $483,333

Maxime Chanot’s loyalty and consistent performances make him a valuable asset to NYCFC. Despite his age, he continues to contribute significantly to the team’s success.

Maxime Chanot

Grade: A-

Richy Ledezma, $396,000

Richy Ledezma’s impact since joining NYCFC has been impressive. Despite being on loan, his performance justifies his salary, making this a great deal for the team.

Richy Ledezma

Grade: A-

Tayvon Gray, $350,000

Tayvon Gray, a young player with strong potential, offers NYCFC a Starting XI-level performance at a relatively low cost. His long-term commitment to the club adds further value.

Tayvon Gray

Grade: A-

Mitja Ilenič, $295,700

Mitja Ilenič’s international experience and early performances demonstrate his potential. With his debut season showing promise, this deal offers NYCFC upside and value.

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Mitja Ilenič

Grade: A

Matt Freese, $180,000

Matt Freese, the backup goalkeeper, provides NYCFC with quality and depth at a reasonable price. His performances in the US Open Cup showcase his ability as a capable goalkeeper.

Matt Freese

Grade: A

Justin Haak, $165,000

Justin Haak’s versatility and decent minutes make his salary of $165,000 a great deal. As a young player with potential, his value will likely increase over time.

Justin Haak

Grade: A-

Luis Barraza, $152,688

Luis Barraza’s solid performances as NYCFC’s starting goalkeeper justify his salary. At just $152,688, he offers excellent value compared to other goalkeepers in the league.

Luis Barraza

Grade: A+

Andres Jasson, $142,144

Andres Jasson’s regular minutes off the bench, versatility, and work rate make him a valuable player for NYCFC. His salary of $142,144 offers exceptional bang for the buck.

Andres Jasson

Grade: A

Kevin O’Toole, $85,444

Kevin O’Toole’s performances and ability to outperform higher-paid players make his salary of $85,444 an absolute steal. His confidence and dynamic playing style add further value to the team.

Kevin O'Toole

Grade: A+

Gabriel Segal, $67,360

Gabriel Segal’s league-minimum salary of $67,360 makes his contributions to the team even more impressive. His recent goal-scoring performance proves his potential.

Gabriel Segal

Grade: A


Why are player salaries important in evaluating a team’s performance?

Player salaries reflect the financial investment a team makes in their roster. Evaluating salaries helps determine if a player’s performance justifies their cost and allows teams to allocate their budget effectively.

What factors contribute to determining a player’s salary?

Several factors influence player salaries, including their skill level, age, potential, market value, and negotiating power. Additionally, Designated Player status and international experience can impact salaries.

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How do player salaries impact a team’s salary cap?

Player salaries contribute to a team’s salary cap, which limits how much a team can spend on players’ salaries. Managing salaries effectively is crucial for teams to maintain a competitive and balanced roster.

Can player salaries change during the season?

Player salaries can change during the season through contract negotiations, transfers, or loan deals. Salaries may increase or decrease based on a player’s performance, market demand, or changes in team finances.


Analyzing player salaries provides valuable insights into the financial dynamics of a team. NYCFC has made some shrewd signings, securing talented players at reasonable prices. While some salaries may not fully justify their performance, the team overall has done well in acquiring players who offer excellent value for their respective salaries. The future looks bright for NYCFC, with a roster that balances talent, potential, and financial stability.