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2024 Sporting KC Salaries Released

New salary information is available for Sporting Kansas City, including apparent pay raises for Pulido, Agada, Salloi, Shelton and others.

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We'll need CMP to do a green filter for money at the next match. | Credit: Thad Bell

It’s that time of the year again. The first of two Major League Soccer (MLS) salary data sets was released by the MLS Players Association (MLSPA). Before looking at the new 2024 data (which is at the bottom if you want to jump straight to that), it’s useful to look at prior data points for Sporting Kansas City.

Some Caveats

The salary data always brings a lot of scrutiny, but there are a couple things worth noting. First, this does not include transfer fees. If a fee is paid for a player, it won’t show up in these numbers. Second, there are two salary numbers: base salary and guaranteed compensation. The guaranteed number feels more accurate because it includes any pro-rated signing bonuses spread out over the life of the contract. We’ll use that number going forward.

Without getting too deep into the weeds, there are a couple roster designations that add some context to these salaries. The team has three Designated Players (DPs) and three U-22 Initiative Players. In 2024, the DPs only count for $683,750 against the cap (no matter their salary or transfer fee) and the U-22 players only count for $200,000 (no matter their salary or transfer fee). Some U-22 players count for $150,000, but Sporting KC don’t have any of those.

New Signings

Sporting KC only added four players in the offseason. All four of them are on some version of a minimum contract. Memo Rodriguez and Zorhan Bassong are on the Senior Minimum Salary ($89,716) and Alenis Vargas and Ryan Schewe are on the Reserve Minimum Salary ($71,401). There are slight variations in their guaranteed numbers, likely due to some sort of bonuses, but they are virtually the same.

Those four signings pale in comparison to the players that are gone. Gadi Kinda was a Designated Player and Graham Zusi and Roger Espinoza are club legends. Needless to say, Sporting KC retain some flexibility to make some roster moves heading into the summer.

Sporting KC’s Vermes on New Signings, Player Recruitment and Analytics

Salary Changes

The most shocking contract change is that of Alan Pulido. In the offseason, it was rumored his salary was doubling from the $2.2 million he’s made each season he’s been in KC. Then, just the other day, MLS released information that made it look like he took a pay cut. [Update 2:08 PM: There was a clerical error in the MLS release, this figure is right]. This shows a nearly 64 percent raise to $3.6 million! His and the team’s production have not matched that pay increase.

The next big jump is for defensive midfielder Nemanja Radoja. However, it’s another potentially misleading number where something may be off. His new salary is listed at $1,530,000 in guaranteed compensation which is up from just $890,000 in the fall. However, it’s just $50,000 more than the number that initially came out last spring. The fact that he’s a Designated Player may mean that he’s actually at the higher number and some weird MLSPA accounting flubbed the numbers in the fall.

Another change in pay sees Daniel Salloi receive a $200,000 raise, up to $1.3 million. He’s another player currently listed as a DP, so it’s likely a fairly accurate number landing in the middle of the $683,750 and $1.683,750 pay band to be a DP that can be bought down with TAM or GAM.

On the other end of the spectrum is Erik Thommy’s salary is moving yet again. He’s inconsistently been labeled as a DP on the team and that tag slid off again this season. He’s listed as the fourth highest paid player making $1,106,250, down from $1,656,250 last fall.

It’s hard to know why the numbers move so much. It could be a situation where a contract is front loaded or backloaded. Or, alternatively, Peter Vermes has told us in the past the numbers are just wrong because they calculate them at the MLSPA different than the league does.

There are a few other raises on the squad too. Khiry Shelton has jumped up another $125,000 to $750,000 per season, which will surely draw the ire of some fans. Tim Leibold received a $100,000 raise up to $601,050. And Willy Agada got a $250,000 raise to $521,875 in 2024. Dany RoseroJohn PulskampRemi Walter and Felipe Hernandez also received $50,000 raises.

There were a few other smaller salary changes, including a $35,000 raise for Jake Davis. It seems unlikely that this is his new contract since this data is from April 25, 2024, and that deal was announced after that. However, the deal could have been signed earlier, or this may simply be an escalator in the old contract.

2024 Sporting KC Salary Data

First NameLast NamePosition(s)Base SalaryGuaranteed Compensation
AlanPulidoCenter Forward$3,600,000.00$3,600,000.00
NemanjaRadojaDefensive Midfield$1,440,000.00$1,530,000.00
DánielSallóiLeft Wing$1,300,000.00$1,300,000.00
ErikThommyAttacking Midfield$1,000,000.00$1,106,250.00
JohnnyRussellRight Wing$1,000,000.00$1,000,000.00
RémiWalterCentral Midfield$900,000.00$900,000.00
KhirySheltonCenter Forward$700,000.00$750,000.00
TimMeliaGoalkeeper$625,000.00$637,500.00
MarinosTzionisLeft Wing$625,000.00$625,000.00
TimLeiboldLeft-back$600,000.00$601,050.00
WillyAgadaCenter Forward$475,000.00$521,875.00
DanyRoseroCenter-back$510,000.00$510,000.00
RobertVoloderCenter-back$450,000.00$477,860.00
AndreuFontàsCenter-back$450,000.00$450,000.00
LoganNdenbeLeft-back$400,000.00$405,000.00
FelipeHernándezCentral Midfield$225,000.00$257,000.00
JohnPulskampGoalkeeper$200,000.00$223,500.00
JakeDavisRight-back$120,000.00$120,000.00
RobertCastellanosCenter-back$115,000.00$115,000.00
ZorhanBassongLeft-back$89,716.00$99,953.00
MemoRodríguezLeft Midfield$89,716.00$98,716.00
KaydenPierreRight-back$89,716.00$96,091.00
OzzieCisnerosCentral Midfield$89,716.00$92,716.00
StephenAfrifaCenter Forward$71,401.00$71,401.00
DannyFloresCentral Midfield$71,401.00$71,401.00
ChrisRindovCenter-back$71,401.00$71,401.00
RyanScheweGoalkeeper$71,401.00$71,401.00
AlenisVargasCenter Forward$71,401.00$71,401.00

The positions are provided by the MLSPA and unaltered.

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Mister Murse

Pulido, salloi, Russell, Shelton are all tremendously overpaid.

ar_jhawk

What about Vermes? On one hand, results aren’t there. On the other, he’s filling 6 jobs, so probably a bargain.

Mister Murse

I think the expectations are clear for him regardless of salary

kcrews123

It’s incredible how overpaid they are. A few short of a million for Shelton? What did Shelton or Salloi do all of last year that warranted them getting raises to their already overly-generous salaries?!

Talk about terrible financial management.

Last edited 1 day ago by kcrews123
Mister Murse

I’m guessing and hoping that those raises were built into the contracts?

Mister Murse

I would like to compare salloi’s average contribution to those of similar salary.

Fontas scored more than he did one season. This season his only goal shouldn’t count. It was an own goal that doesn’t have definitive angle to prove it wasn’t on target.

I also argue against the contribution as he is a primary attack killer by always looking backwards.

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