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What we learned about Sounders from latest MLS salary release

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Seattle set a new high water mark for guaranteed compensation.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

It would appear the Seattle Sounders have set a new record for team spending, at least according to the recently released MLS Players Union salary data.

With the addition of Raúl Ruidíaz (about $2 million a year) and Brad Smith (about $565,000) — and assuming they are still on the hook for Clint Dempsey’s $1.65 million salary — the Sounders’ total spending on guaranteed compensation would be $13.4 million for a full year.

Individually, none of that is particularly surprising, as it the reported numbers are very much in line with what was expected. What might be a bit more interesting — with a heavy emphasis on “might” — is that four players actually have new salary numbers from the previous release in May. Gustav Svensson, Jordy Delem and Waylon Francis each saw relatively modest increases in the $12,000 to $25,000 range, while Stefan Frei saw a slight decrease of about $20,000. This could be nothing, but it might also be a sign that they’ve signed new contracts. As of press time, the Sounders had not responded to a request for comment.

This salary data reflects full-year equivalent salaries, so it’s not a completely accurate reflection of how much each team has actually spent this year. It also doesn’t account for things like transfer fees. But based on this data, the Sounders moved up two spots in the team ranking and now are spending the sixth-most of any team in terms of guaranteed compensation. Their $13.4 million wage bill is slightly more than the previous high of $13.3 million in the September 2015 salary release, when they were fresh off a summer signing spree that brought them Nelson Valdez, Román Torres, Andreas Ivanschitz and Erik Friberg. They were also paying Dempsey and Obafemi Martins a combined total of more than $7.5 million at the time.

This year’s salaries are considerably more spread out. They have five players making at least $1 million and 13 others making at least $99,000. Their median salaried player is now making more than $215,000.

Sounders Oct. 2018 salary vs. May 2018 salary

Last Name, first name Position Oct 2018 May 2018 change
Last Name, first name Position Oct 2018 May 2018 change
Full team $13,427,648.33 $11,376,125.37 18.03%
Lodeiro, Nicolas M $2,302,500.00 $2,302,500.00 0.00%
Ruidiaz, Raul F $2,000,004.00 -
Dempsey, Clint F $1,650,000.04 $1,650,000.04 0.00%
Alonso, Osvaldo M $1,141,667.04 $1,141,667.04 0.00%
Rodriguez, Victor M $1,087,499.96 $1,087,499.96 0.00%
Torres, Roman D $645,000.04 $645,000.04 0.00%
Kee-Hee, Kim D $632,004.00 $632,004.00 0.00%
Leerdam, Kelvin D $575,000.04 $575,000.04 0.00%
Smith, Brad D $564,364.67 -
Svensson, Gustav M $367,500.04 $350,000.00 5.00%
Bruin, Will F $351,666.67 $351,666.67 0.00%
Marshall, Chad D $341,250.00 $341,250.00 0.00%
Frei, Stefan GK $262,500.08 $281,250.00 -6.67%
Morris, Jordan F $234,500.00 $234,500.00 0.00%
Francis, Waylon D $196,041.67 $171,666.67 14.20%
Roldan, Cristian M $191,000.00 $191,000.00 0.00%
Shipp, Harry M $174,999.96 $174,999.96 0.00%
Neagle, Lamar F-M $99,000.00 $99,000.00 0.00%
Alfaro, Tony D $67,500.00 $67,500.00 0.00%
Brown, Calle GK $67,500.00 $67,500.00 0.00%
Delem, Jordy M $67,500.00 $55,654.20 21.28%
McCrary, Jordan D $67,500.00 $67,500.00 0.00%
Meredith, Bryan GK $67,500.00 $67,500.00 0.00%
Wingo, Henry D-M $55,650.00 $55,650.00 0.00%
Bwana, Handwalla M $54,500.04 $54,500.04 0.00%
Chenkham, Felix F $54,500.04 -
Roldan, Alex M $54,500.04 $54,500.04 0.00%
Nouhou D $54,500.00 $54,500.00 0.00%
Adekoya, Seyi F - $55,650.00
Eikrem, Magnus M - $546,666.67