February 23, 2024
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Looking to explore the world of Major League Soccer (MLS) and curious about the financial aspect? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will delve into the intriguing topic of Average MLS Salary. Discover how much players in the league earn, the factors that influence their wages, and gain valuable insights into the financial dynamics of professional soccer in the United States. Get ready to uncover the numbers behind the game and understand the financial landscape of MLS like never before.

Breakdown of Average MLS Salary

Average MLS Salary

In Major League Soccer (MLS), the average player salary stands at an impressive $386,668. Additionally, when considering the collective earnings of all players within a team, the average yearly wage bill amounts to a staggering $8,170,454. These figures highlight the significant financial magnitude and intricacies associated with player compensation in the MLS.

Team Average Annual Salary Yearly Wage Bill
Toronto FC $928,477 $26,925,850
Houston Dynamo $757,700 $14,265,000
FC Cincinnati $685,600 $12,335,000
Austin FC $619,700 $13,267,000
LA Galaxy $581,250 $14,544,000
Chicago Fire FC $573,800 $18,284,000
St. Louis City SC $458,400 $8,718,000
Atlanta United FC $452,500 $9,507,000
Portland Timbers $421,250 $11,780,000
Los Angeles FC $387,250 $9,294,000
Columbus Crew SC $385,388 $10,405,500
New York City FC $384,500 $9,588,000
Sporting KC $369,250 $9,971,000
Seattle Sounders FC $367,500 $9,178,500
New England Revolution $366,500 $9,529,000
Orlando City SC $339,925 $8,838,000
Charlotte FC $314,600 $5,978,000
San Jose Earthquakes $288,050 $8,642,000
Real Salt Lake $287,800 $8,634,000
Philadelphia Union $261,200 $6,525,000
New York Red Bulls $242,250 $6,783,000
Inter Miami CF $240,000 $6,487,000
Minnesota United FC $238,560 $5,750,000
Colorado Rapids $230,925 $6,235,000
Montreal Impact $230,250 $6,645,000
FC Dallas $225,750 $5,192,000
DC United $219,400 $5,924,500
Vancouver Whitecaps FC $187,300 $5,432,000
Nashville SC $168,300 $5,050,000

As a football data analytics expert, I have analyzed the provided data on average annual salaries and yearly wage bills of MLS teams. Here are some interesting observations and judgments based on the data:

Toronto FC: With an average annual salary of $928,477, Toronto FC has the highest average salary among all the teams. This indicates that they invest significantly in player wages. Their yearly wage bill of $26,925,850 further emphasizes their financial commitment to building a competitive squad.

Toronto FC
Toronto FC

Houston Dynamo: While Houston Dynamo has the second-highest average annual salary at $757,700, their yearly wage bill of $14,265,000 is relatively lower compared to some other teams. This suggests that they have a more balanced wage structure, allocating resources efficiently across the squad.

Houston Dynamo
Houston Dynamo

FC Cincinnati: FC Cincinnati has a relatively lower average annual salary of $685,600. However, considering their yearly wage bill of $12,335,000, it appears that they have invested a significant portion of their resources in a smaller group of high-earning players.

FC Cincinnati
FC Cincinnati

Austin FC: As a new addition to MLS, Austin FC has entered the league with a respectable average annual salary of $619,700. Their yearly wage bill of $13,267,000 indicates a solid financial foundation to compete in the league right from the start.

Austin FC
Austin FC

: Despite their reputation as one of the league’s most successful teams, LA Galaxy’s average annual salary of $581,250 is not the highest. However, their yearly wage bill of $14,544,000 suggests that they have invested heavily in their squad to maintain their competitive edge.

LA Galaxy
LA Galaxy

St. Louis City SC: St. Louis City SC, being a recently established team, has a lower average annual salary of $458,400. Their yearly wage bill of $8,718,000 reflects a prudent approach to managing their resources as they build their team.

St. Louis City SC
St. Louis City SC

Charlotte FC: Charlotte FC, another new team, has the lowest average annual salary on the list at $314,600. Their yearly wage bill of $5,978,000 suggests that they have adopted a conservative spending strategy in their inaugural season.

Charlotte FC
Charlotte FC

From the data, we can observe varying levels of financial commitment among MLS teams. It’s important to note that these figures represent averages and the distribution of salaries within each team may vary significantly. Nonetheless, the data provides valuable insights into the financial landscape of MLS and the resource allocation strategies of different teams.

Read more: Footballer Salaries: Fact vs. Fiction

Factors Affecting MLS Salaries

Several factors influence MLS salaries, and understanding them can provide valuable insights for players and fans alike.

Experience: Experience plays a vital role in determining salaries. Players with a proven track record and years of MLS experience generally earn higher salaries.

Education: While not a direct determinant, education can contribute to higher salaries. Players with a college degree or higher education may have an edge in negotiations.

Location: MLS salaries can vary based on the location of the team. Cities with a higher cost of living, such as New York or Los Angeles, may offer higher salaries to compensate for the increased expenses.

Performance: Performance on the field significantly impacts a player’s earning potential. Consistent top-level performance can lead to salary increases and even attract attention from other leagues.

Market Demand: The demand for specific positions and skills can influence salaries. If there is a shortage of quality players in a particular position, salaries for that position may increase.

Top 10 MLS Player Salaries 2023

Name Base Salary Guaranteed Compensation Club Position
Xherdan Shaqiri $7,350,000.00 $8,153,000.00 Chicago Fire M
Lorenzo Insigne $7,500,000.00 $7,500,000.00 Toronto FC F
Javier Hernández Balcázar $6,000,000.00 $7,443,750.00 LA Galaxy F
Federico Bernardeschi $3,125,000.00 $6,295,381.00 Toronto FC F
Sebastián Driussi $3,800,000.00 $6,022,500.00 Austin FC M
Héctor Herrera $4,750,000.00 $5,246,875.00 Houston Dynamo M
Douglas Costa $3,000,000.00 $4,508,333.00 LA Galaxy F
Luiz Araújo $3,600,000.00 $4,483,333.00 Atlanta United F
Christian Benteke $4,250,000.00 $4,432,778.00 DC United F

Analyzing the provided data, we can uncover some interesting insights and make informed judgments about the players and their salaries:

Xherdan Shaqiri: With a base salary of $7,350,000 and guaranteed compensation of $8,153,000, Shaqiri is one of the highest-earning players in the MLS. His substantial salary reflects his experience and talent, making him a valuable asset for the Chicago Fire.

Xherdan Shaqiri
Xherdan Shaqiri

Lorenzo Insigne: Insigne earns a base salary of $7,500,000, with guaranteed compensation matching his base salary. This places him among the top earners in the league and highlights his importance to Toronto FC. As a forward, Insigne’s goal-scoring ability and skill contribute significantly to his team’s success.

Lorenzo Insigne
Lorenzo Insigne

Javier Hernández Balcázar: Known as Chicharito, Hernández earns a base salary of $6,000,000, but his guaranteed compensation is $7,443,750. As an influential player for the LA Galaxy, Chicharito’s salary reflects his popularity and marketability, making him a valuable investment for the team.

Javier Hernández Balcázar
Javier Hernández Balcázar

Federico Bernardeschi: Bernardeschi’s base salary is $3,125,000, but his guaranteed compensation amounts to $6,295,381. The significant difference between the two figures suggests the inclusion of performance-based bonuses or additional incentives in his contract. This structure motivates the player to perform at a high level and rewards him accordingly.

Federico Bernardeschi
Federico Bernardeschi

Sebastián Driussi: Driussi earns a base salary of $3,800,000, with guaranteed compensation totaling $6,022,500. As a player for Austin FC, his salary reflects the club’s belief in his abilities and their investment in his potential. Driussi’s performance on the field will determine if he lives up to the expectations associated with his compensation.

Sebastián Driussi
Sebastián Driussi



In conclusion, understanding the average MLS salary and the factors influencing it is crucial for players and fans alike. The breakdown of salaries by player position provides insights into the earning potential in different roles. Factors such as experience, education, location, performance, and market demand play significant roles in determining MLS salaries. By following the negotiation tips and learning from the real stories of MLS players, aspiring players can position themselves for higher salaries. Ultimately, the average MLS salary reflects the league’s growth, financial dynamics, and the value placed on talented players.

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