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The Value of a Superstar Goal in Major League Soccer

Just how much does a goal cost when scored by one of Major League Soccer's star players? Here are some numbers to chew on with your turkey and stuffing.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

How much does a goal cost for an MLS superstar?

Thanks to the availability of players' annual salaries, we can calculate just how expensive an MLS star's contributions are to the scoresheet. Below is an average of just how much the top 10 highest-paid players in MLS made in 2016 per goal scored and assists registered.

Kaká is the highest-paid player in MLS, but thanks to a steady contribution of goals and assists -€” not to mention the commercial value his name gives the club -€” he's more reasonably priced based on his production than some of his fellow superstars.

Player Salary Goals+Assists Price Per G/A
Kaká $7.167M 19 (9G, 10A) $377,210.53
Sebastian Giovinco $7.115M 32 (17G, 15A) $222,343.75
Michael Bradley $6.5M 6 (1G, 5A) $1,083,333,33
Steven Gerrard $6.1M 14 (3G, 11A) $406,666.66
Frank Lampard $6.0M 15 (12G, 3 A) $400,000
Andrew Pirlo $5.9M 12 (1G, 11A) $491,666.66
David Villa $5.6M 27 (23G, 4A) $207,407.41
Jozy Altidore $4.8M 15 (10G, 5A) $320,000
Clint Dempsey $4.6M 10 (8G, 2A) $460,000
Gio dos Santos $4.2M 26 (14G, 12A) $161,538.46

As we can see from the chart, LA Galaxy's Giovani dos Santos provides the most "bang for buck" based on this calculation, while NYCFC's David Villa pays dividends with his goal-scoring prowess. Kaká sits right in the middle of the pack in dollars per goal contributed, which isn't bad considering he's the highest-paid player in the league. Michael Bradley's $1M per goal/assist rate was easily the highest of the bunch in 2016.

These numbers don't take into account anything but goals and assists, however, and there are obviously a multitude of other factors that make players great and valuable to their teams. But it's Thanksgiving, and we're just taking a fun look strictly at the raw numbers while being thankful to call Kaká one of our own.