MLS Average Salary in 2021 【MLS Player Salary】 | CareerExplorer

The average salary of MLS Player is $398,725 per year.

mls average salary

The average salary of an MLS player is $398,725 per year. The maximum salary given to them is $6.3 million. While the minimum salary given to them is $36,500. The minimum wage for the players who are under 25.

MLS Average Salary 2021:

EXPERIENCEANNUAL SALARY
Less than 2 years$36,500
More than 2 years$398,725
More than 5 years$6.3 million

Read More: MLS Minimum Salary

How Much Does an MLS Player Earn?

The question of how much money soccer players make in professional sports is always in demand. As reported by Forbes, the average guaranteed compensation for MLS soccer players’ top 10 seasons in 2019 was $5.2 million, while it is $4.3 million by 2021. MLS player Salary for non-designated players range from $36,500 to $387,500. For players under 25, the minimum league salary is $36,500 and for players over 25, the minimum salary is $48,500.

Two Major League Soccer players, Carlos Vela of LAFC and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez of LA Galaxy, earn more than $6 million annually. Meanwhile Inter Miami’s most valuable player, Gonzalo Higuain, earns the guaranteed compensation of $5.8 million and the base salary $5.1 million. Overall, a total of 72 players earn $1,000,000, while 68 players earn $2,000,000 or more guaranteed compensation.

Top MLS Player Salaries 2021:

Player Name Earnings in 2021
Carlos Vela $6,300,000
Javier Hernandez $6,000,000
Gonzalo Higuain $5,793,750
Alejandro Pozuelo $4,693,000
Josef Martinez $3,891,667
Jozy Altidore $3,602,250
Rodolfo Pizarro $3,350,000
Maximiliano Moralez $3,285,000
Victor Wanyama $3,091,667
Franco Jara $2,977,000

Read More: NFL League Minimum Salary

Major League Soccer players can take home large salaries with an average MLS player salary rounding up to a baseline of $398, 725 for the year 2021. The average guaranteed compensation of non-designated players is $423,232, a salary hike of nearly 11,000 from 2019.

While low earners still enjoy high compensations, $4.3 million is the average take-home salary and guaranteed compensation of the top players in the MLS.   

What Is The Average MLS Salary?

The MLS average player salary ranges from $398,725 and upward. A close average of 400,000 remains a baseline salary for most non-designated player positions.

However, the highest earning potential of designated players can go up to $6.3 million. The League pays a total of $332,660,079 to all of their players during the year.

Baseline salaries inflate with time and have doubled since 2016, however, the highest paid players can have salary increases within the same year as well.

For any team, an MLS player salary consists of a guaranteed compensation range and an annual bonus for the player. A top-performing soccer player’s experience, reputation, and performance statistics all factor into their baseline salaries, their guaranteed compensations, and their endorsement deals.

What Is The MLS?

Major League Soccer is a professional league for men’s soccer and remains the highest level league in North America since its inception in 1993. The league was formed to host the FIFA World Cup and held its first season in 1996.

The MLS has currently expanded to 27 teams across Canada and the United States and is home to top soccer players. As the league plays host to the top performers in the game, it also has some of the highest earners in soccer worldwide.

Top Five Earners in the MLS

1.      Carlos Vela

Carlos Vela is the top earner in Major League Soccer. The LAFC player shot up through the ranks since 2020 when he was ranked the fourth highest earner in the league. 

Currently, the Mexico native has a guaranteed compensation of $6.3 million even with a baseline MLS average salary of $4.5 million from his club.Vela, 32, joined the Los Angeles team in 2018 and previously played for the British team, Arsenal. 

His performance and awards history were key factors in his inflated salary, especially considering his Golden Boot and MVP award wins in 2019. The LAFC player has scored 60 goals overall in his three-year run for the Californian club.

2.      Javier Hernandez

Hernandez follows close behind Vela with a guaranteed compensation of $6 million. The Real Madrid and Manchester United alum currently plays for LA Galaxy. He is a new addition to the Los Angeles-based team and debuted in 2019 as the striker.

In 2021, he has secured seven goals and is on his way to becoming a top performer. His average MLS salary has, however, taken a hit from the $7.2 million he earned last year in 2020. His performance decided his lowered salary because he only netted two goals in 2019.

 3.      Gonzalo Higuain

Gonzalo Higuain has an MLS average salary of $5.1 million and a guaranteed compensation of $5.79 million, earning him the third spot on this list. The Inter Miami striker has bagged an impressive four goals in 2021 out of his five overall games.

His American salary is perhaps lower than his Real Madrid compensation of £5.45 million. Higuain was after all a top player and secured 291 goals overall during his European soccer career. 

However, his current $16 million net worth and $0.7 million endorsement deals make up for the salary dip.

Learn More: NBA Player Salary

4.      Alejandro Pozuelo

Although Alejandro Pozuelo is one of the top performers of the league, he takes the fourth spot on the list. The Atlanta United player won the coveted Most Valuable Player spot last year and currently earns $4.69 million.

He has moved up a spot from last year where he was ranked the fifth highest paid player in the MLS with an overall MLS average salary of $3.8 million. Today, he starts with a baseline salary of $3.8 million and the league pays him another million in added guaranteed compensation.

The Spaniard plays for the Toronto FC and joined as a midfielder in 2018. At 29, he remains one of the best performers in the league and netted a total of nine goals in 2020.

5.      Josef Martinez

Another top performer in MLS is Josef Martinez who takes home $3.89 million total. He first joined the Atlanta United team in 2017 and began a three year rise to the top.

He managed 19 total goals in 2017, 31 goals and an MLS Cup victory in 2018, and 27 goals in 2019. He is back in action in 2021 after an injury-related break in 2020. 

Due to his inactivity in the 2020, he was not ranked on the highest players list; however, he was included in the 2019 list of top ten MLS earners. 

Learn More: NFL Player Salary 

Conclusion

The minimum rate of an MLS average salary is calculated by looking at the player’s statistics, seniority, and designated position on the team. A player’s performance during his tenure or during a season can help inflate their value in the league.

However, the player’s salary also depends on their team’s willingness to spend and not the player’s performances. Inter Miami and Toronto FC boast the highest number of top earners in the MLS.

 They also happen to be the highest spenders within the league with Inter Miami paying its team a total of $17,803,479 and the Toronto FC spending a total of $17,005,113 on its own players.  

Even so, teams like the Philadelphia Union outperform big spenders with spending budgets of less than $10 million.

Written by Alisa Stewart

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