What is the Average MLS Salary?

Carlos Vela What is the Average MLS Salary?
(Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images)

The average salary level in MLS is not as high as in other soccer leagues across the world. It stands at $312,470, while the average yearly salary bill for a team is $8,170,454.

We spoke to a soccer expert from JustGamblers who said, “Salaries in MLS are nowhere near as high as in the major European leagues where an individual player can earn more than an entire MLS team.”

We asked whether this was due to the standard of play in the US, and he also agreed to this being the case: “Yes, the salary levels certainly reflect the level of skill on show, and it’s important to remember that there is also less money in the sport overall in the US than there is in Europe, so you would expect salaries to be lower.”

How does the average MLS salary compare with other Leagues?

Carlos Vela What is the Average MLS Salary?
(Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images)

To confirm the substantial gap in salaries between MLS and other leagues, it’s interesting to complete a comparison.

In the English Premier League, the average wage of a player is a little over £60,000 ($72,677) per week. That equates to more than £3 million ($3.6 million) annually.
Looking at the average wage levels in La Liga and Serie A, it’s clear that they are also much higher than the MLS average.

In La Liga, FC Barcelona has the highest player salaries, with an annual average of €11 million ($11.4 million) per player. Real Madrid is a close second in the list with an annual average salary rate of €10 million ($10.3 million) per player.

In the case of Serie A, Juventus is by far the biggest spending team in terms of salaries, with an average annual rate of $10.1 million per player. Roma has the second-highest average annual salary rate at $4.49 million per player. PSG in France are also one of the football clubs with the highest wage bill in Europe.

The gap between salaries paid in MLS and in major European leagues becomes clear when this comparison is made. However, there are individual players in MLS who earn salaries that are comparable with those available elsewhere.

Who are some of the highest-paid MLS players?

Although many players in the top MLS clubs are not well paid in comparison with those in the top leagues across the world, some players do earn millions of dollars each year.

The top paid players in MLS are listed in the table below, so their salaries can clearly be seen.

PlayerTeamPositionBasic SalaryGuaranteed
LA GalaxyStriker$7,250,000$7,250,000
Michael BradleyToronto FCDefender$6,500,000$6,500,000
Jozy AltidoreToronto FCStriker$4,891,250$6,332,250
Carlos VelaLos Angeles
Álex PozueloToronto FCMidfielder$3,800,000$3,800,000

Three of the players listed play for Toronto FC, so you will not be surprised to hear that this is the team with the highest average salary in MLS at $928,477.

This is a small amount when compared with top teams across the world but substantial when compared with the MLS team at the other end of the spectrum, Nashville, SC. The average annual salary there is $168,300.

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