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Bargains among the MLS salary numbers, released today

May 6, 2013, 5:30 PM EDT

Lee Nguyen, Blake Brettschneider, Chris Tierney

MLS Salaries were announced Monday, courtesy of the MLS Players Association.

It’s worth noting that the salaries listed are essentially for reporting purposes, skewed by some technical mumbo-jumbo and not entirely accurate in terms of what they players actually earn. And there are other considerations where “value” is concerned, as in how much salary is being paid by a former team, or scheduled increases ahead, etc.

Still, the numbers represent fairly solid reference points.

So let’s get started by looking at 20 real bargains around MLS (plus a pair of bonus, Super Bargains!):

The Super Bargains!

  • Lee Nguyen, New England Revolution, $80,000 guaranteed: The Revs attack is nothing special, but the winger who loves to come inside to create is still the top man around Gillette in terms of breaking down defenses. Nguyen (pictured) would show even better with a higher quality front line in front of him.
  • Victor Bernardez, San Jose, $100,000:  On many days he is the league’s top center back. “Top center backs” are usually in the $200-$300 range. So, yes, he’s a plum by any measure – but especially at this price.

The Plain ol’ bargain bin Bargains

(price noted is 2013 “guaranteed” compensation; listed in alphabetical order by club):

  • Austin Berry, Chicago Fire, $78,000
  • Michel, FC Dallas, $81,000

Not a name that many know much about, but the first-year MLS man’s ability to hold the midfield helped has enormously for the current Western Conference leaders.

  • Matt Hedges, FC Dallas, $64,500
  • Andrew Driver, Houston Dynamo, $95,000
  • Matt Besler, Sporting Kansas City, $180,000

That number may look fair for a center back, but it’s getting into bargain territory, at very least, for an elite CB who just elbowed his way into the U.S. national team rotation.

  • Claudio Bieler, Sporting Kansas City, $200,000

He’s sharing the league lead in scoring after 10 weeks, so that stands out as a bargain price for a veteran, quality striker.

  • Graham Zusi, Sporting Kansas City, $173,000
  • Oriol Rosell, Sporting Kansas City, $118,000

An underrated element of the current Eastern Conference co-leaders. Once you consider that both Benny Feilhaber and Bobby Convey (different roles, admittedly) both earn quite a bit more, it’s easier to see how the Spanish veteran, so disciplined, composed and clean in the holding midfield role, is well worth that small patch of cash.

  • Omar Gonzalez, L.A. Galaxy, $282,000

I will go to my grave insisting he was the most important element – indeed, the one absolutely indispensable element – in last year’s championship defense. He was definitely the MVP of MLS Cup 2013. None of that happened without Gonzalez, so even at that relatively high number, he’s a steal.

  • Patrice Bernier, Montreal Impact, $162,000

For the league’s best holding midfielder? C’mon! He’s probably the most important man in Impact colors, and the center of the park around Stade Saputo never looks quite the same without him.

  • Jeb Brovsky, Montreal Impact, $84,000
  • Jose Goncalves, New England Revolution, $104,000
  • Fabian Espindola, New York Red Bulls, $150,000
  • Keon Daniel, Philadelphia Union, $80,000
  • Sebastien Velasquez, Real Salt Lake, $46,000

Velasquez, 22, is at that number due to his age. Keep at it, young man, and you won’t be making those apprentice wages much longer.

  • Osvaldo Alonso, Seattle Sounders, $210,000
  • DeAndre Yedlin, Seattle Sounders, $53,000

Anyone else see the Sounders rookie, now solidly in place as the starting right back at CenturyLink Field, getting a contract re-do this year?

  • Rafael Baca, San Jose Earthquakes, $49,000
  • Steven Beitashour, San Jose Earthquakes, $49,000
  • Joe Bendik, Toronto FC, $46,000

Quality goalkeepers can be had for less than 100K in MLS; still this price is pretty ridiculous for the man who is keeping Stefan Frei on the bench.

  1. creek0512 - May 6, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Since when is 20 year old Oriol Rosell a “spanish veteran”?

  2. firewolf777 - May 6, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    Yes I’m definitely biased cause its my team, but I think okugo and jack Mac for 100k is one amazing bargain.
    Both of those players would get Allstar bids at this moment in the season.

  3. tackledummy1505 - May 7, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    Jack Mac would, Okugo is having an ok season and he still is playing out of position. Okugo is a mid-fielder playing center back because the Union fail to hire and play proper Center Backs. There’s not much in different philosophies between Hackworth and Nowak. Yes their attack styles are different and I think Hackworth’s is better, but the right personnel are still out of position just because of Hackworth’s friendship circle. Just like Nowak pushed Mac out of playing time, Hackworth is doing the same with Le Toux and a few others. It’s why Soumare is gone and he’s a true Center Back, not Amobi

  4. firewolf777 - May 7, 2013 at 4:15 AM

    Amobi has just proved he can shine all around the field.
    Which is what you ask in a player.
    Soumare just didn’t look fit that first game but we will see now, amobi is a stud.
    Hack has his problems but everyone does.

  5. firewolf777 - May 7, 2013 at 4:15 AM

    And le toux is just a waste he just is not that good

  6. docstraw - May 7, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    man, how do some of these guys eat?

  7. joeyt360 - May 7, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    “Omar Gonzalez, L.A. Galaxy, $282,000
    I will go to my grave insisting he was the most important element – indeed, the one absolutely indispensable element – in last year’s championship defense. He was definitely the MVP of MLS Cup 2013. None of that happened without Gonzalez, so even at that relatively high number, he’s a steal.”

    I believe I argued he was the MVP of the whole year–look how crappy the Galaxy were without him!

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