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Major League Soccer’s Top Five overpaid players

Aug 13, 2013, 7:00 PM EDT

money down the drain

The updated MLS salary list came out late last week. We found five under-performers who were notable for not earning their highly-paid keep.

(Check back tomorrow for our list of MLS salary bargains)

The overly pricey players are listed in alphabetical order:

Toronto FC’s Richard Eckersley, $310,000 guaranteed: Anything more than $150,000 for an outside back in MLS needs careful examination. Paying twice that for a right back is just silly. Plus, if we ranked MLS right backs, TFC’s Englishman would be mid-pack at best.

Sporting Kansas City’s Benny Feilhaber $312,000 guaranteed: He didn’t work out in New England. He’s not exactly working out to plan in Kansas City, where the former U.S. international has been just OK while starting 15 of 24 matches for the first-place side. Depth is great and all, but not at this price.

Chicago’s Sherjill MacDonald, 527,000 guaranteed: You know, for half a mil, Chicago really should get at least one freakin’ goal out of this guy. One goal! The club has pretty much given up, and rightly so after no goals and just one, single assist in 13 appearances. Shame they couldn’t see the truth in this huge salary bust earlier. It’s not like the rest of us weren’t noticing; we told you back in April the guy was a bust.

(MORE: MLS salary analysis in chart, table form)

Real Salt Lake’s Brandon McDonald, $273,000 guaranteed: RSL is paying very little of his salary; D.C. United, which traded McDonald last month, continues to tote most of the note on this one. At Rio Tinto, he’s probably the third or fourth best center back when everyone is healthy (although he is providing some valuable service during the club’s time of back line injury crisis).

New England’s Juan Toja, $295,000 guaranteed: Seriously, guys, what gives? Why is he still around Gillette Stadium, still eating up a roster spot, not to mention all that salary? The Colombian midfielder is absolutely nothing like the guy who was so bright and lively at the 2007 All-Star game. He can’t run, and he’s simply not productive. Pay a guy that much in MLS and it’s fair to demand he be more than a part-time starter. (Toja has started 11 of New England’s 23 matches.) A playmaker, ostensibly, Toja has a goal and no assists this year.

  1. takethelongview - Aug 13, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Hey, Steve, how many of these deals expire in December? How many will (potentially) haunt the clubs into next year?

  2. kendricbeachey - Aug 13, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    Benny went the full 90 and scored a beautiful direct free kick this weekend. Does that help?

  3. mvktr2 - Aug 13, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    Kleiberson ??? Not sure of what portion of his salary Philly is paying vs some of it possibly being paid by his former club? Best I can tell he’d be 2nd on this list to Chicago’s MacDonald in terms of salary:production ratio, he’s been on the field for all of about 60 minutes this season.

    • Steve Davis - Aug 13, 2013 at 9:23 PM

      Kleberson was one of the first names I circled on my initial pass through the list. You are correct … he jumps off the page. Thing is, he’s been hurt a lot. John Hackworth keeps saying that Kleberson is a part of the plan and that he will prove that going forward. So, I was willing to give Hackworth the benefit of the doubt … but for just a little longer!

  4. cherry314 - Aug 14, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    Strange not to see a Red Bull/Metrostar on a list like this.

  5. wfjackson3 - Aug 14, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    Yeah, I see what you are saying with Benny, but I think his performances are starting to improve lately. I see him getting back a bit more. Maybe Vermes is starting to get through to him.

  6. bobinkc - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Sorry, Steve, but I would rather see Benny paid $312,000 than Claudio Bieler paid whatever it is he makes to not score and be much of a contribution otherwise.

  7. newmanggrrr - Aug 14, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    Dwayne de Rosario. $645K for 2 goals and an assist.. Well past his best.

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