It’s that time of the year again. The final set of 2023 Major League Soccer (MLS) salary data was released by the MLS Players Association (MLSPA). Before looking at the new 2023 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.
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 (hence why Gadi Kinda is a DP but is only 5th in pay). 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 2023, the DPs only count for $651,250 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.
There is just one new signing on the roster since the spring release of salary information. Felipe Gutierrez. He’s making $165,000, which we already had a pretty good idea on because he is a season-ending injury replacement for Kortne Ford.
That is a stark contrast to the last time he was on the roster in 2019. At that time, he was a Designated Player and made about $1.65 million. His contract does include an option year for 2024, so it’s possible he’s due a raise if he sticks around. It’s also possible that his injury replacement salary is for a half year, and the true contract value is double. MLS is pretty opaque about these things.
The biggest change comes from Nemanja Radoja, and it’s so significant it seems like it’s probably an error this time, or previously. In the spring, he was listed as making $1,530,000. Now he’s only shown at $890,000. That salary should be much more palatable for fans who have been disappointed in Radoja. He has missed a fair amount of time with fitness and injury issues, but I’d argue he’s still probably the most important midfielder on the roster.
Alan Pulido signed a new contract a few weeks back, but his number is identical to his prior numbers. That was an extension that doesn’t kick in until 2024, so we should see if he got a big raise sometime in the spring.
There are literally no other changes. Everyone else is identical to the early season release.
Final 2023 Sporting KC Salary Data
Without delaying things further, here are the full numbers.
|First Name||Last Name||Position(s)||Base Salary||Guaranteed Compensation|