MLSPA salary guide reveals Jara pay day

The Major League Soccer Players Association has resumed its biannual release of the salary information for all 786 contracted players.

LAFC’s former Arsenal striker, Carlos Vela, is the highest-paid player in MLS, making $6.3m guaranteed in 2021. His Mexico teammate and cross-town rival Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is second on an even $6m.

FC Dallas has a player in the top ten as Franco Jara’s $2.98m places the Argentine forward at number ten while also finally exposing the number that had only been alluded to as the highest salary in FC Dallas history.

Franco Jara goal celebration – FC Dallas vs_ Houston Dynamo – FC Dallas_m29972
Franco Jara goal celebration – FC Dallas vs_ Houston Dynamo – (FC Dallas Communications)

Jara’s number not only accounts for 24% of FC Dallas’ roster spend, but also exceeds high profile Designated Players such as Nani ($2.49), Nicolas Lodeiro ($2.74), Jonathan dos Santos ($2m), and Lucas Zelarayan ($1.99m).

FC Dallas is 17th in spending with a total guaranteed compensation of $10,660,135. The figure is a shade under 60% of Inter Miami’s $17.8m budget, but still well clear of Vancouver’s $8.7m. With Austin ($9.1m) and the Houston Dynamo ($9.5m) also in the bottom four, FC Dallas is the highest spending team in the State of Texas.

Bryan Acosta surveys the field against Houston Dynamo FC, May 8, 2021. (Matthew Visinsky, 3rd Degree)

Four players sit above the maximum salary charge of $612,500 – Jara, Bryan Acosta, Matt Hedges, and Jose Martinez – that requires a Designated Player spot in the case of Jara and Acosta, or for their salary to be paid down using Targeted Allocation Money in the case of Hedges and Martinez.

In terms of roster construction, FC Dallas allocates 58% of its spend on international players. This information is without the later additions of Szabolcs Schön, Nicky Hernandez, and Collin Smith, none of whom are expected to greatly move the needle.

Homegrown Players account for over one-third of the budget, with the 13 Homegrown Players included in the salary guide accounting for $2.55m, led by Paxton Pomykal whose salary rose from $500,000 in 2020 to $600,000 this year, a significant raise from his 2019 figure of $105,000. Jesus Ferreira sits slightly behind on $550,000.

With the delayed release of the 2020 salary guide there were a couple of additional points that may have influenced roster decisions:

  • 35-year-old Reto Ziegler made $1m in guaranteed compensation, which has been seen as the glass ceiling for FC Dallas before the signing of Franco Jara.
  • Thiago Santos was paid $838k for his season in the FC Dallas midfield. His current and eventual successors – Bryan Acosta and Edwin Cerrillo – make $810k combined and have four and 11 years on the now-Gremio defensive midfielder.
  • Fafa Picault was traded to FC Dallas having made $173k in 2019. His pay increased to 430k on the FC Dallas left side, with an increase to $500k in 2021.
  • While Michael Barrios’ production decreased, his salary increased $150k to $650k since 2019.

As always the great Steve Fenn has carried on his deep dive of salaries in Major League soccer via the following Tableau data viz:

If the embed is not working, or you’re on a mobile device, here’s a direct link.

2021 FC Dallas Salaries

NameBase SalaryGuaranteed Compensation
Franco Jara$2,290,000$2,977,000
Matt Hedges$850,000$850,000
Bryan Acosta$650,000$700,000
Jose Antonio Martinez$600,000$673,000
Paxton Pomykal$600,000$600,000
Jesus Ferreira$550,000$550,000
Matheus Bressan$536,000$582,340
Andres Ricaurte$450,000$487,178
Jader Obrian$360,000$444,600
Ryan Hollingshead$346,500$346,500
Brandon Servania$230,400$271,400
Bryan Reynolds$200,000$228,000
Ema Twumasi$200,000$246,900
Freddy Vargas$160,000$186,000
Jimmy Maurer$158,125$160,625
Phelipe Megiolaro$150,000$176,250
Thomas Roberts$150,000$163,000
John Nelson$115,000$123,000
Tanner Tessmann$115,000$120,125
Dante Sealy$100,000$113,400
Edwin Cerrillo$95,000$110,000
Ricardo Pepi$90,000$108,000
Kyle Zobeck$85,444$85,444
Justin Che$80,000$89,209
Nkosi Burgess$66,724$66,724
Eddie Munjoma$66,724$66,724
Kalil Elmedkhar$63,547$63,547
Beni Redzic$63,547$71,169

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