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Sounders 2024 salaries: There should be budget for signings

Several players saw big raises but the top line number suggests there’s money to spend.

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The MLS Players Association dropped their 2024 salary data on Thursday, giving us our first real look at some of the new numbers. The top line takeaway is that the Sounders’ total guaranteed compensation — which is basically salary and various types of bonuses — is about $3 million less than what it was at the end of last year. At roughly $16.6 million, they rank 12th in MLS, about $1 million less than the ninth highest payroll.

This is explained in a pretty straightforward way by the difference in salary between Nicolás Lodeiro — who was making about $3.2 million with the Sounders and is now taking about $800,000 with Orlando City — and Pedro de la Vega (about $1.1 million), as well as by dropping Xavier Arreaga (who was due to make about $775,000 this year).

Even if we assume the Sounders’ roster spend is budgeted to be about equal to last year — which seems like a very conservative assumption — and account for a prorated portion of de la Vega’s transfer fee (which would add roughly $1.625M to the 2024 spend), presumably the Sounders still have close to $1.5M to spend this year.

Sounders salary cap position
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More concretely, we now know a bit more about the various new contracts the Sounders signed this offseason:

  • Danny Musovski is making a little less than $400,000, which is very much the market for backup forwards.
  • Nathan is on $550,000, which is a significant decrease from the $750,000 he was making with the San Jose Earthquakes.
  • Jon Bell is on $100,000.
  • Braudilio Rodrigues is on $90,000.

Among the players who signed new contracts, here’s what we know:

  • Albert Rusnák’s option gave him a raise of about 19%, bringing him above $2.2M and well outside the TAM threshold.
  • Josh Atencio got the largest increase by percentage, nearly tripling his salary to $350,000 while moving into a U22 spot that brings his cap hit to $200,000.
  • João Paulo’s option was for about $1.5M, an increase of 7.2%.
  • Yeimar Gomez Andrade‘s option got him a bump of 12.2% to a little less than $850,000.
  • Stefan Frei took a slight pay cut, accepting a new deal that pays him $600,000.
  • Alex Roldan got an extra $130,000 for signing an extension.