MLS Fans Should Be Aware Of Wages Issue
The one outlying difference between Major League Soccer and the other major sports leagues in North America is that MLS is not the most attractive league as far as salary, talent, and skill level is concerned. The US is the leader in almost all other major sports in the world including basketball, ice hockey, american football, and baseball.
However, soccer is still a relatively young sport in this country. While soccer has yet to reach anywhere near its peak in America, there are several people in the industry trying to take the opportunity to expand the beautiful game in the US. The common notion is that if MLS wants to get to the level of the English Premier League, Bundesliga, and La Liga, they are going to have to be able to attract top talent from across the world.
Don Garber and MLS are as eager as can be to attract this top talent, and they have been very successful as of late. Kaka, Frank Lampard, David Villa, Steven Gerrard, and Sebastian Giovinco have been among the big international names that will be coming to MLS in the 2015 season. Orlando City SC’s Kaka, is set to make around 7 million dollars in the upcoming season. Kaka will be making roughly over 180 times more than a few of him teammates in the 2015 season.
That’s right – there are several players in the MLS that are slated to make roughly $36,500 next season, which is significantly less than what most plumbers make. And he will still be making around 60 times more than the rest of his teammates. If the MLS wants young American athletes to consider the possibility of playing soccer in the US as a serious option, they are definitely going to address this pay issue. To give you some persspective: the average NFL starting kicker makes around 1.4 million a year. Most kickers play 16 games in a season, and come into the game to kick the ball 7 or 8 times a game with virtually no risk of injury.
The MLS players that are making $100,000 or under are not just players that sit on the reserve squad either. In 2010, current USMNT striker Chris Wondolowski was making only $48,000. What if Wondo walked away from the game? The MLS would be without a one time MVP, two time golden boot winner, and a 2013 Gold Cup top goal scorer. Just last year, LA Galaxy defender, who helped the Galaxy to a MLS Cup, Dan Gargan was making roughly the same amount. The list goes on and on. The MLS needs to address this issue in the upcoming CBA, and MLS fans should stand with the players union on this topic.