Orlando City SC operates with the fourth largest payroll in MLS at $11,478,787.78, sitting behind Toronto FC, ($22,774,566.74), LA Galaxy ($19,475,299.75), and New York City FC ($17,860,367.89). Below are the 2015 player salaries for Orlando, followed by a look at the numbers.
|Player||Base Salary||Salary plus Bonus|
|St. Ledger, Sean||$124,992||$147,492|
What We Knew:
Kaká is making loads of dough. His base salary is $6.6 million and, with bonuses, he is guaranteed to make $7,167,500. Not only is he the highest paid player in MLS, he also makes more money than the rest of Orlando City's roster combined.
Let that sink in for a moment. Kaká earns over 60% of Orlando's overall payout structure. No person can argue that Kaká, one of the most recognized and respectable athletes in the world, does not deserve to make that amount of money. However, a valid argument would be: does he deserve to be paid more than every teammate combined?
What We Didn't Know:
Orlando has made some bad investments, or at least it looks that way so far. There are four players making more money per minute played than the average dollar per minute played for the entire team, which currently sits at $614.79 (Total Team Salary/Total Team MLS Mins Played). This does not include players who have not seen the field.
Paterson, Martin: $4,054.05
Rochez, Bryan: $3,493.75
Mwanga, Danny: $833.33
The other players in the team's top 10 paid per minute of MLS play are:
Collin, Aurelien: $496.69
Shea, Brek: $447.12
Heath, Harrison: $437.96
Okugo, Amobi: $368.55
Ricketts, Donovan: $288.89
Hall, Tally: $282.10
Even though Orlando has done very well this inaugural season, there are going to be mistakes made by a front office -- bad players signed, good players let go, unforeseen events, such as injuries or issues with staff -- but when there are players being paid so handsomely to sit, then there should be a discussion on their value.
This dollar per minute played statistic is not used to argue that some players are unworthy of what they make, but rather to argue that perhaps the money could be used more effectively elsewhere. Potential is also not a factor here, we look at each player through the lens of a single season.
Rafael Ramos is the most underpaid player we have. He is currently making $33.92 per minute of MLS play. He has the second most minutes played this year and is making the bare minimum salary of $50,000. This is a travesty.
Orlando's payroll with Kaká is the fourth highest in MLS. Without Kaká, it is the third lowest.