Friday, 19 Apr 2024

TFC’s Michael Bradley Takes Pay Cut for Toronto FC’s Success

toronto fc salary

The MLS Players Association recently released the 2023 salary list, sparking intrigue surrounding Toronto FC. This year, TFC’s Italian star Lorenzo Insigne, who topped Major League Soccer’s salary rankings last season with $14 million, sits at second place with $7.5 million, just behind Chicago’s Xherdan Shaqiri at $8.15 million. Meanwhile, Toronto captain Michael Bradley, previously earning $1.5 million, now takes home $614,826.

Bradley’s Selfless Gesture

The reason behind Insigne’s reduced salary remains unknown, but Bradley’s decision to take a pay cut was entirely voluntary. Jason Hernandez, Toronto’s assistant general manager and Bradley’s former teammate, revealed that the 35-year-old skipper approached the club during the off-season, offering to restructure his contract and take a lower salary. His selfless act aimed to provide the team with additional resources to strengthen the roster.

Hernandez said, “That gave us the ability to go after not only one MLS free agent, but multiple (free agents). That’s Michael for you.”

As a result of Bradley’s sacrifice, TFC was able to sign goalkeeper Sean Johnson, defenders Matt Hedges, Sigurd Rosted, and Raoul Petretta. These acquisitions would have been challenging under the team’s previous financial constraints.

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Making Room for New Talent

The introduction of targeted allocation money (TAM) by Major League Soccer offered a mechanism to bring top players to the league without occupying a designated player spot. Although DPs can receive unlimited salaries (only $651,250 of which counts against the salary budget), the maximum salary allowed under TAM rules this season is $1,652,250. This move enables teams to secure additional quality players within a specific range of salaries.

Ryan Gauld, an attacking midfielder, leads the Vancouver Whitecaps’ salary list with $2.5 million, while Victor Wanyama tops the CF Montreal pay scale at $1.8 million.

Key Figures in TFC’s Salary List:

  • Lorenzo Insigne: $7.5 million
  • Federico Bernardeschi: $6,295,381
  • Jonathan Osorio: $1.4 million
  • Richie Laryea: $1.277 million

Bradley’s decision to transition from a designated player to a TAM player occurred when he signed his current contract in December 2019. This three-year deal contains an option for the 2023 season, maintaining his salary at $1.5 million per year.

Bradley’s Impact and Legacy

Bradley’s financial contribution to the team aligns with his remarkable career achievements. With numerous accolades both internationally and domestically, including being one of the most decorated players at Toronto FC, Bradley’s dedication to the club is second to none.

Hernandez praised Bradley, saying, “Think about what he means to us, what he’s done for us. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a long list of players who are as decorated as he is, especially at this place, and voluntarily say ‘I’m willing to reduce my wage if it gives the club the best chance at adding pieces and being successful.’ I haven’t experienced that very much in my time.”

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Under the restructured deal, Bradley has the option to continue with the same salary in the upcoming season. His previous six-year contract, which expired after the 2019 season, earned him a total of $39 million. Back in 2019, Bradley held the second-highest salary in MLS, trailing only Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Unfortunately, Bradley’s illustrious career with Toronto FC has recently been hampered by injury. After undergoing a hamstring procedure in England, he is expected to miss the next eight to ten weeks of play. The operation will be performed by Dr. Ernest Schilders, a renowned expert in adductor and groin issues in athletes.


Q: How much did Michael Bradley earn last season?
A: Bradley’s salary for the previous season was $1.5 million.

Q: Who holds the highest salary on TFC’s payroll?
A: Lorenzo Insigne currently holds the highest salary at $7.5 million.

Q: Who are the new players signed by TFC thanks to Bradley’s salary cut?
A: TFC has recently signed goalkeeper Sean Johnson, defenders Matt Hedges, Sigurd Rosted, and Raoul Petretta.


Michael Bradley’s decision to take a pay cut for the betterment of Toronto FC exemplifies his commitment to the club’s success. By restructuring his contract, Bradley provided TFC with the opportunity to bolster their roster and pursue multiple free agents. His contributions both on and off the pitch have solidified his status as one of Toronto FC’s most revered players. As Bradley continues his recovery, fans eagerly await his return and the impact he will undoubtedly have on the team.

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