Top Stories

Ibrahimovic, dos Santos, Bradley headline highest MLS salaries

The Major League Soccer Players Association released the 2019 edition of its annual salary guide on Wednesday.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Giovani dos Santos, and Michael Bradley headlined the highest salaries in MLS for 2019. Ibrahimovic, 37, is earning an MLS-record $7.2 million in 2019, breaking Sebastian Giovinco’s $7.115 in 2017 and 2018.

dos Santos, who was released by the Galaxy in L.A. Galaxy in March, had a base salary of $4.75 million and a total compensation of $6.5 million. Bradley ($6,428,571 total), Jozy Altidore ($6,332,250 total), and Carlos Vela (6.3 total) round off the top-five.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ignacio Piatti, Alejandro Pozuelo, Wayne Rooney, and Josef Martinez all feature in the top ten. Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard has the highest salary among goalkeepers, earning $2,475,000 in total compensation.

The average base salary for all players this year is $376,174 and the average compensation is $417,643, including a prorated share of guaranteed money not attributable to a specific year. Senior roster non-designated players average salaries increased 13.3% and is up $138,140 since 2014.

The minimum salary for each team’s 18-20 senior players rose to $70,250 this season and the minimum for its maximum eight reserve players increased to $56,250.




  1. Man really shows the risk and rewards of signing the high priced talent.
    Lot of MLS championships and lot of flops…and some of both.

  2. The Galaxy look pretty stupid for paying so much for Gio dos ?Santos. He was getting twice as much as his brother, who is better, and the Galaxy had to let him go for nothing because they had one too many DP’s. I think they pay way too much for Skjelvik, too. He’s a decent defender, but not worth a million. LAFC has 3 of the best bargains–Latif Blessing, Mark Anthony Kaye, and Tyler Miller all get less than $100k and Miller always starts and the other 2 start almost always. A few other observations: Bradley Wright Phillips began with NY Red Bulls making only $80 k. What a bargain that was. Zardes in the last 3 seasons has gone from $400 k to 600k, to $2.2 million. Finally, a lot of the young players called in by Berhalter are making near the bottom–Lewis, Cannon, Lima come immediately to mind. Maybe he’s called in some of those guys to supplement their relatively meager salaries.

  3. dos Santos and Michael Bradley being 2 of the top 3 earners tells you everything you need to know about the MLS. While it has improved substantially, it is arrogant and thin-skinned to criticism.

    • Pf, stinks. Find me two better true center mids in the league. We’ll all wait for you to catch up. Look at Bradley’s resume.


Leave a Comment