Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The Minimum-Wage MLS

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

We knew that MLS players didn't exactly break the bank, salary-wise, but we'll confess: We didn't realize they made less than people at Burger King.

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In a survey of MLS salaries, it turns out that the average MLS rookie makes a salary of $11,700. That's actually less than what we make, and we're a blogger.

The top-tier players like Freddy Adu, Landon Donovan and Juan Francisco Palencia make substantially more than that, but there are no millionaires in the MLS. But that $11,700 figure is knocking us over. We hope all MLS rookies are bankers in the offseason.

2006 MLS Salaries [Washington Post]

(UPDATE: An MLS source writes in to clarify: "I just wanted to clarify something for you: that $11,700 figure isn't the average salary for all MLS rookies - it's the starting salary for the (up to) eight players at the end of the roster who are considered "developmental" players.

An MLS roster has 18 "senior" players and up to 8 "developmental" players. The developmental guys used to get $850 a month, but they may have bumped that a little bit to get it to $975 a month ($11,700 a year/12 months - all MLS contracts run January 1 - December 31).

But not all rookies are developmental players and not all developmental players are rookies. Those who were good enough to turn pro early or who were higher draft choices are making quite a bit more than $11,700 a year, I can assure you (the Fire's first draft pick, Calen Carr, is listed with a $30,000 base and $60,000 guaranteed)."