Skip to content

Looking at some MLS salary data (including one very happy chart)

May 1, 2012, 5:31 PM EDT

David Beckham, Robbie Keane

The median salary for an LA Galaxy player is about six-times that of a somebody on the Crew.

That’s what Sporting Intelligence has published both at their site and in ESPN the magazine, though that may be the least interesting past of their huge data set they’ve collected.

The site has gathered salary data from a myriad of different leagues the world over: “football (soccer variety), basketball, baseball, cricket, gridiron (football variety), ice hockey, Aussie rules football”.

Before we get to more MLS data, here are some of their observations:

The NBA remains the best-paid league overall per man, with average annual salaries of £2.65m a year, or £50,883 per player per week on average. The LA Lakers are the highest paying team in the NBA and the Indian Pacers the lowest, and the difference between the two is a ratio of 1.86 to 1.

This is tiny compared the ratio between the best paid and worst paid in Spain: 22.81 to 1. That is why Barcelona and Real Madrid are way head of everyone else in that league. Even the Scottish SPL is no longer as stretched as that (with a ratio of 19.18 to 1 between top and bottom).

Looks like MLS’s six to one isn’t bad at all.

The top 10 highest paid teams in world sport …

Rank (last year) Team League Avg. player pay $ per year
1 (1) Barcelona La Liga $8,680,569
2 (2) Real Madrid La Liga $7,796,637
3 (10) Manchester City EPL $7,403,754
4 (6) Chelsea EPL $6,795,899
5 (4) LA Lakers NBA $6,278,088
6 (3) New York Yankees MLB $6,186,322
7 (14) Milan Serie A $6,104,769
8 (12) Bayern Munich Bundesliga $5,907,652
9 (13) Philadelphia Phillies MLB $5,817,965
10 (7) Internazionale Serie A $5,700,915

… and the Major League Soccer data:

Rank (last year) Team League Avg. player pay $ per year
219 (222) LA Galaxy MLS $555,799
222 (218) New York Red Bulls MLS $529,126
228 (227) Toronto FC MLS $321,959
251 (270) Chivas USA MLS $178,644
253 (255) Seattle Sounders MLS $173,024
255 (250) Philadelphia Union MLS $162,232
256 (262) FC Dallas MLS $157,387
257 (-) Vancouver Whitecaps MLS $150,092
258 (259) Real Salt Lake MLS $149,926
259 (-) Portland Timbers MLS $149,515
260 (256) Houston Dynamo MLS $147,882
261 (226) Chicago Fire MLS $145,521
262 (257) DC United MLS $141,307
263 (258) Colorado Rapids MLS $127,457
264 (253) New England Revolution MLS $125,802
265 (260) San Jose Earthquakes MLS $120,802
266 (-) Montreal Impact MLS $118,464
267 (254) Sporting Kansas City MLS $116,786
278 (252) Columbus Crew MLS $89,369

Really, Columbus?

But then again, maybe Columbus is onto something (no, not really). Check out the first and third sports above them on the list.

Here’s another way to look at the data:

source:

It all looks nice and friendly until you get to that big three on the right.

One other representation:

source:

Like what Toronto does to that curve? Not that it really matters. The season isn’t old enough to make this chart more than something fun to look at (for those that can harken back to their college stats classes, I kept the R2 value there, though).

Check out these links for more info, and don’t be afraid to give the people some money:

ESPN the Magazine: Highest-paying teams in the world
Sporting Intelligence: REVEALED: The world’s best paid teams, Man City close in on Barca and Real Madrid

Latest Posts
  1. Watch Live: Queens Park Rangers vs. Stoke City (Lineups)

    Sep 20, 2014, 7:27 AM EDT

    Queens Park Rangers v Stoke City - Premier League Getty Images

    Can QPR bounce back from last weeks drubbing and beat the Potters? Watch live, right here.

  2. WATCH: Premier League online via NBC Sports Live Extra – Week 5

    Sep 20, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

    Live Extra

    How and where to watch every single PL game live online or via the app.

  3. MLS Snapshot: Real Salt Lake 5-1 Colorado Rapids

    Sep 20, 2014, 12:25 AM EDT

    alvaro_saborio_real_salt_lake AP

    Real Salt Lake demolished the Colorado Rapids, 5-1, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

  4. WATCH: Real Salt Lake nets five consecutive goals to lead Colorado, 5-1

    Sep 19, 2014, 11:55 PM EDT

    javier_morales AP

    Five consecutive goals have Real Salt Lake ahead of the Colorado Rapids tonight, 5-1.

  5. Premier League Preview: West Ham vs. Liverpool

    Sep 19, 2014, 10:52 PM EDT

    Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund - Pre Season friendly Getty Images

    Preview of West Ham v. Liverpool match on NBC at 12:30 p.m. ET this Saturday.

  6. Watch Live: Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids (Lineups)

    Sep 19, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT

    Edson Buddle, Nat Borchers AP

    Watch Real Salt Lake encounter the Colorado Rapids live on NBCSN or NBC Sports Live Extra at 10:00 p.m. ET tonight.

  7. Premier League Preview: Aston Villa vs. Arsenal

    Sep 19, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    Arsenal v Aston Villa - Premier League Getty Images

    Preview of Aston Villa vs. Arsenal match on NBCSN at 10:00 a.m. ET this Saturday.

  8. Pellegrini, Mourinho have different views on Lampard’s Chelsea exit

    Sep 19, 2014, 8:21 PM EDT

    41361 Getty Images

    Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho hold different rationales about midfielder Frank Lampard’s Stamford Bridge exit this year.

  9. UEFA president Michel Platini to keep gifted watch despite FIFA’s dislike

    Sep 19, 2014, 7:17 PM EDT

    EURO 2016 Steering Committee Meeting Getty Images

    UEFA president Michel Platini doesn’t wish to give into FIFA’s pressure to return a watch gifted to him at the World Cup.

  10. Seattle Sounders ink Nigerian defender Onyekachi Apam

    Sep 19, 2014, 6:31 PM EDT

    Olympics+Day+15+Football+57gftmf5b8fl Getty Images

    Seattle Sounders FC have signed Nigerian defender Onyekachi Apam.

  11. WATCH: Coritiba striker Joel vanishes into hole during goal celebration

    Sep 19, 2014, 4:40 PM EDT

    Joel+Coritiba+v+Chapecoense+Brasileirao+Series+hdtIomrwmOml Getty Images

    Coritiba striker Joel brought out a one-of-a-kind goal celebration vs. Sao Paolo.

  12. Chicharito admires Sir Alex Ferguson for spearheading “European dream”

    Sep 19, 2014, 3:35 PM EDT

    Britain Soccer League Cup AP

    Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has sung the praises of former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who the forward believed was instrumental in getting himself exposure in Europe.

  13. At “massive” Madrid, Bale hails Spurs fans, mentions possible return

    Sep 19, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT

    Gareth Bale, AP

    Gareth Bale could one day return to Tottenham, but his waxing poetic on White Hart Lane is likely nothing more than political fare.

  14. Van Gaal has interest in Ronaldo, doesn’t think Real Madrid will sell

    Sep 19, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    Of course it’s possible that Louis van Gaal could bring Ronaldo to Manchester United, but he doesn’t believe his current team is interested.

  15. WATCH: Ronaldinho’s brutal PK attempt mars Mexican debut

    Sep 19, 2014, 1:46 PM EDT

    Ronaldinho AP

    How many times in his life has Ronaldinho performed this task with flair (or at least adequately)?

  16. Americans Abroad preview: Guzan looks to keep Villa rolling

    Sep 19, 2014, 12:55 PM EDT

    Liverpool v Aston Villa - Premier League Getty Images

    Tim Howard’s stint as No. 1 USMNT backstop may be on hiatus, but the battle of who’s the top American goalkeeper in the Premier League is on

  17. Premier League Preview: Queens Park Rangers vs. Stoke City

    Sep 19, 2014, 12:05 PM EDT

    niko-kranjcar-qpr-stoke-64064-1928575_613x460

    An even rivalry heads to Loftus Road to start its season series on Saturday, kicking off the Premier League weekend.

  18. WATCH: Premier League TV schedule – Week 5

    Sep 19, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    PremierLeagueNBC

    Where and how to watch every PL game during Week 5, right here.

  19. Awaiting trial on domestic abuse charges, Hope Solo plays on. Fair?

    Sep 19, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT

    Mexico v United States Getty Images

    A Washington Post report asks why Hope Solo is being celebrated for her on-field efforts while awaiting the results of her not guilty plea to domestic abuse charges.

Featured video

Breaking down Man City vs. Chelsea