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Published On: Wed, Oct 1st, 2014

Behold MLS top earners

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Former AC Milan and Real Madrid midfielder Kaka has been revealed as the highest earning MLS player, despite never having played for his club. The 32-year-old Brazilian, who signed for Orlando City in June and was immediately loaned to Sao Paulo, earns just over £4.4million a year, which works out at £84,000 per week.

LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane (£2.76m), meanwhile, earns more than Arsenal legend Thierry Henry (£2.67m) does at the New York Red Bulls.

But more staggering than wages of the high earners is the discrepancy between those players and their less talented, and less fortunate, team-mates. Many players in the league earn as little as £22,000 a year, or £420 a week, which is less than the average salary in the UK. To put that into perspective, it would take Manuel Aparicio three and a half years to earn what his Toronto team-mate Michael Bradley does in a week.

Moreover, when Clint Dempsey joined Seattle Sounders from Tottenham last summer, his salary was more than the entire payroll for 15 of the 19 MLS teams. A number of other former Premier League players are also earning high salaries in the US. The evergreen Obafemi Martins picks up an annual salary more than £1m while Liam Ridgewell earns around £750,000 a year. Bradley Wright-Phillips, who has scored 25 goals in 35 games for New York Red Bulls, earns £230,000 annually.

David Villa, who joined the recently formed New York City FC from Barcelona during the summer, is listed as earning just £60,000 a year.The figure is misleading, though, as the majority of his salary is currently being paid by A-League side Melbourne City, where he is currently on loan.

Similarly, Frank Lampard is not included on the list because he is not due to return from his loan at Manchester City until 2015. Regardless of some of the smaller numbers on show, the growth of the league is clear to see.

In 2013 there were just seven players earning more than a million dollars annually. In 2014 that number has more than doubled, and that doesn’t even include the full salaries of Frank Lampard and David Villa who are likely to take the total number of million-dollar players to 17.


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