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Sounders salaries 2018: Clint Dempsey takes a haircut

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Nicolas Lodeiro is now the team’s top player by a significant amount.

Sounders vs. Timbers: Photos Photo credit - MikeRussellFoto

We’ve known ever since Clint Dempsey re-signed with the Seattle Sounders late last year that he had taken a significant pay cut. Now we have a pretty good idea of just how much of one, after the MLS Players Union made available their first salary release of 2018 on Thursday.

Dempsey is now listed as receiving $1.65 million in guaranteed compensation in 2018. That’s a 57 percent reduction on what he was making last year and nearly $3 million less than he was listed as being paid in 2016. That leaves Nicolas Lodeiro as the team’s highest-paid player (at about $2.3M) after he got a 32 percent bump from 2017. The team’s best “bargain” continues to be Cristian Roldan, who is still making a little less than $200,000 even after getting a 33 percent pay bump. Stefan Frei at roughly $280,000 is also a pretty outstanding value.

Collectively, the Sounders are paying out $11.3 million, which is about 4 percent less than they were on the hook for at the end of 2017, but about 10 percent more than they were paying out at this point last year. Assuming the Sounders make their promised Designated Player signing this summer, their guaranteed compensation will likely be closer to $13 million by the end of the year.

As it is now, Seattle ranks eighth in total guaranteed compensation and will likely end up somewhere around fifth or sixth by the end of the season. Digging into those numbers a bit, the Sounders are ninth in Designated Player compensation, but are tied for the most TAM players (five) and are sixth in terms of money being paid to players making more than the max salary cap hit. (Note: MLSPU salary data is notoriously inaccurate, often undercounts what players actually make and doesn’t include things like transfer fees. But it’s the best we have...)

Somewhat remarkably, Toronto FC is spending about $8.5 million more than any other team in the league. The LA Galaxy are spending the second most (about $17.5 million), which is about $8.5 million more than 13th place Sporting Kansas City (full spread sheet).

The median MLS team is now spending nearly $9.2 million in guaranteed compensation, which is more than double the official salary budget ($4,035,000 in 2018). Only three teams have just one Designated Player (Revolution, D.C. United and Minnesota United) and 10 have the maximum three DPs. There are also now 138 players making more than the maximum salary budget charge (about $504,000 in 2018) and the median salary in the league is about $153,000.

Sounders salaries 2018 vs. 2017

Last Name, first name Position 2018 guaranteed 2017 guaranteed change
Last Name, first name Position 2018 guaranteed 2017 guaranteed change
Full team $11,376,125.37 $11,836,373.85 -3.89%
Dempsey, Clint F $1,650,000.04 $3,892,933.50 -57.62%
Neagle, Lamar F-M $99,000.00 $202,833.33 -51.19%
Francis, Waylon* D $171,666.67 $251,875.00 -31.84%
Marshall, Chad D $341,250.00 $366,250.00 -6.83%
Morris, Jordan F $234,500.00 $237,500.00 -1.26%
Rodriguez, Victor M $1,087,499.96 $1,087,499.96 0.00%
Alonso, Osvaldo M $1,141,667.04 $1,141,667.00 0.00%
Meredith, Bryan GK $67,500.00 $66,150.00 2.04%
Nouhou D $54,500.00 $52,999.92 2.83%
Brown, Calle* GK $67,500.00 $65,000.00 3.85%
Adekoya, Seyi F $55,650.00 $53,004.00 4.99%
Wingo, Henry D-M $55,650.00 $53,004.00 4.99%
Delem, Jordy M $55,654.20 $53,004.00 5.00%
Bruin, Will F $351,666.67 $326,666.67 7.65%
Frei, Stefan GK $281,250.00 $256,250.00 9.76%
Shipp, Harry M $174,999.96 $144,999.96 20.69%
Alfaro, Tony D $67,500.00 $54,075.00 24.83%
Leerdam, Kelvin D $575,000.04 $455,640.00 26.20%
Torres, Roman D $645,000.04 $508,812.50 26.77%
Lodeiro, Nicolas M $2,302,500.00 $1,743,428.57 32.07%
Roldan, Cristian M $191,000.00 $137,000.00 39.42%
Svensson, Gustav M $350,000.00 $170,000.04 105.88%
Kee-Hee, Kim D $632,004.00 n/a n/a
Eikrem, Magnus M $546,666.67 n/a n/a
McCrary, Jordan D $67,500.00 n/a n/a
Bwana, Handwalla M $54,500.04 n/a n/a
Roldan, Alex M $54,500.04 n/a n/a
* - signifies 2017 salary was not with Sounders