Ah, the annual release of player salaries by the MLS Players' Union, arguably one of the best times of the year.
Well, that day has come, folks.
The Players' Union released their list of salaries for the 2016 season, an update from the latest list that was released back in September, revealing how much every player in the league is making, including Orlando City's roster.
To no one's surprise, Orlando City captain Kaká tops the list as the highest paid player in the league for the second year in a row with a base salary of $6.66 million, and guaranteed compensation of $7,167,500, beating out the likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, who both come in at an even $6 million base for this season.
The team's big off-season signing, midfielder Antonio Nocerino, is costing the team $600K ($650K guaranteed) this season, the second highest number on the books for the club. Orlando City's other recent signing, forward Julio Baptista, is only making $90K, which seems surprisingly low for a guy of his stature within the game.
Goalkeeper Joe Bendik comes at a decent bargain at $140K, which is $10K less than he made at Toronto FC last season and $75K less than Tally Hall's base salary a year ago. Defender Kevin Alston, also acquired in the off-season, is making $130K.
As for the rest of the roster, it looks like just about everybody else saw a nice little pay raise over their contracts from 2015.
Midfielder Darwin Ceren and right back Rafael Ramos were both awarded new contracts over the off-season, after putting in good MLS debut campaigns last season. Ceren more than doubled his salary, going from $66K to $150K ($174,375 guaranteed), while Ramos jumped up to $96K ($96K guaranteed), nearly a 100 percent increase from his $50K salary heading into MLS.
Last season's numbers reported center back David Mateos' mid-season salary at $300K, an adjusted total for a player entering the league mid-season, while this year his cap hit jumps up to $420K ($453,333.33 guaranteed), just slightly below the max cap hit. Brek Shea, surprisingly, saw a big jump in his salary, going from $475K base salary last season to $550K ($595K guaranteed total compensation) this year. That's a big jump, but it would be easy to imagine that raise already being in his contract when he signed.
The biggest bargains on the roster would probably have to be striker Cyle Larin ($135K base, $177K total) and midfielder Cristian Higuita ($80K base, no bonus). For the production those two bring to the table, they could easily be making loads more. But, for now, Orlando City will get as much as they can from them on small salaries before they cash in big over the next couple of transfer windows.
Here's the full roster, with base salary followed by guaranteed compensation:
- Kevin Alston: $130,000 - $130,000
- Julio Baptista: $90,000 - $90,000
- Hadji Barry: $62,500 - $62,500
- Joe Bendik: $140,000 - $147,666.67
- Luke Boden: $82,500 - $82,500
- Servando Carrasco: $95,500 - $99,625
- Darwin Ceren: $150,000 - $174,375
- Conor Donovan: $90,000 - $118,000
- Earl Edwards Jr: $52,500 - $52,500
- Devron Garcia: $62,500 - $70,937.50
- Harrison Heath: $63,000 - $63,000
- Cristian Higuita: $80,000 - $80,000
- Seb Hines: $150,000 - $151,250
- Kaká: $6,660,000 - $7,167,500
- Cyle Larin: $135,000 - $177,000
- Richie Laryea: $125,000 - $154,000
- David Mateos: $420,000 - $453,333.33
- Kevin Molino: $110,000 - $121,400
- Antonio Nocerino: $600,000 - $650,000
- Rafael Ramos: $96,000 - $96,000
- Tommy Redding: $95,000 - $102,500
- Pedro Ribeiro: $63,000 - $63,000
- Carlos Rivas: $80,000 - $80,000
- Bryan Rochez: $180,000 - $259,500
- Brek Shea: $550,000 - $595,000
- Mason Stajuhar: $51,500 - $51,500
- Tyler Turner: $63,000 - $63,000
- Adrian Winter: $180,000 - $198,333.33
Total base payroll: $10,656,500