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Pulido Pay Cut? Sporting KC the 41st Most Valuable Team in the World

Did Alan Pulido take a pay cut? Sporting KC are one of the most valuable soccer clubs in the world. Marco Reus could be coming to MLS & more!



Credit: Thad Bell

When we at the KC Soccer Journal were The Blue Testament, we would often write stories called Blue Links or Blue Notes that rounded up stories you may have missed. Welcome back to Journal Entries (title pending). Let’s get to the news!

A Pulido Pay Cut?

Last fall, Alan Pulido signed a new three-year contract with Sporting Kansas City. That deal will keep him around until just before he turns 36-years-old. At the time that he re-signed, there were rumors out of Mexico that he would get a massive pay raise from his previous $2.2 million to $4.4 million per season. For an aging veteran, that was a worrying way to spend money.

When a player is a ‘True DP,’ it doesn’t really matter to anyone other than the owner signing the checks, because he hits the Sporting KC budget the same if he makes $1.7 million or $100 million. That said, it’s hard not to think money could be spent more wisely as it likely lessens the spend elsewhere.

Well good news, the watchful eyes of my KC Soccer Journal colleague, Mike Kuhn, noticed something about the roster releases from MLS last week. None of Sporting KC’s three Designated Players are ‘true DPs.’

Let me explain. Since all the players are TAM-able (silly, made-up MLS words), that means none of them make more than $1,685,750. Unless there was a typo on that release, Alan Pulido actually took a pay cut.

We’ll know more when the MLSPA does their annual salary release, which could come at any point. Last year’s Spring release was May 16th, and the final numbers came in on October 18th.

It’ll be interesting to see where all the numbers shake out in the coming days/weeks, but just because Sporting KC have three Designated Players that can be bought down, they don’t have enough Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) or General Allocation Money (GAM) to do it. Though, it could provide additional flexibility in future seasons. has a look at every single team’s roster and what flexibility they have. That is behind the paywall though. If you want to just look at all the raw data, MLS has that out as of May 2nd.

Sporting KC are the 41st Most Valuable Team

No, not in American soccer. In the world!

According to Sportico, Sporting Kansas City land at number 41 on the list. That makes them just the 17th most valuable MLS franchise worth $630 million. They landed just behind Minnesota United (39), Nashville SC (40) and head of the New York Red Bulls (42). The highest MLS team on the list was LAFC at $1.15 billion coming in at 15th.

The top team in the world? Manchester United at $6.2 billion. That’s more than a billion more than the next EPL team, Liverpool ($5.11b).

Sporting KC have no reason to be sad though. They are ahead of Aston Villa (EPL), Atalanta (Italian Serie A), Flamengo (Brazilian Serie A) and Monterrey (Liga MX).

Major League Soccer actually took 20 of the top 50 spots. The most of any league in the world. The English Premier League had nine, Serie A had six, the Bundesliga had four, LigaMX only had three, LaLiga had just three and Ligue 1 had only two.

The article explaining the process of how the values are determined is behind a paywall.

Oh, so RSL were Offside

After how upset Peter Vermes was after the Minnesota United game, it turns out he should have been more upset about the game winning goal this past weekend against Real Salt Lake. Chicho Arango was over seven inches offside. That may be a costly point in the push for the 2024 playoffs.

That said, I understand because to my naked eye it looks pretty close. The math is even a little complicated.

US Open Cup News — if Sporting KC Advance

If Sporting KC can get past Union Omaha (USL1) tonight, they will host USL Championship side FC Tulsa in the Round of 16.

This is the first time I can remember KC potentially having back-to-back lower division opponents in a very long time. Only eight Major League Soccer teams participating obviously has quite the impact. As Mike points out, if KC keep advancing, they won’t have to face the Houston Dynamo for only the 2nd time in the Open Cup since 2015 because the champs are already eliminated.

KC Current Travel Updates

If you missed it, the Kansas City Current played a game on Sunday marred by a four-hour rain delay. It has had quite the negative effect on their week. They were stuck in Houston another night. They had already checked out of their hotel before the game, so they had to find new accommodations. Then they were struggling to book travel to Seattle before they ultimately got league approval to do a charter flight.

This tops off an already tough travel schedule. Seattle were at home and played with two more days rest on Friday. Then the Current have to travel back to KC after Wednesday’s game to face the North Carolina Courage who had no midweek game. Vlatko said they have “by far the worst schedule in the league” and no other team has to deal with anything even remotely close to this.

Additionally, the team will still be without their injured star, Bia, for the game tonight.

Match Preview: KC Current at Seattle Reign

Espinoza and Zusi Playing in TST

The Soccer Tournament (TST) will have a few former Sporting KC players in their 7v7 competition this year. Roger Espinoza will join the Wrexham Red Dragons and Zala will feature Graham Zusi, CJ Sapong, former SKC draft pick Tony Rocha and SKC Academy player Tomas Mancuso. That team actually has a ton of former MLS guys on it.

TST just got a little more fun for KC fans.

This explains why Zusi and Espinoza are carving guys up over at the Soccer Lot.

[Instead of calling these Journal Entries, maybe we should just call this, “follow Mike on Twitter.”]

Marco Reus to St. Louis?

St. Louis City SC are apparently talking to Marco Reus, who is set to leave Borussia Dortmund after this season wraps up. It’s very early in the process according to Bogert and they don’t even have him in their Discovery list. I hope another team swoops in and puts him there, if nothing to at least cause STL to have to trade to get him.

Some folks had been hoping Reus actually ended up in Kansas City. He’ll be 35 by the time the transfer window opens and that’s obviously pretty old in soccer. Then again, he had a pretty darn good season. Home and Away had a good discussion about why SKC are still in the 4-2-3-1 despite its failings and how maybe they are laying the groundwork for a true 10, like Reus, to land in KC in the summer.

Quick Entries

  • MLS Season Pass, if you are interested in such things, dropped its price last week with nearly one-third of the season over.

  • Sporting KC definitely aren’t where we want them to be on this chart! That said, I love a good chart.

  • San Diego FC may be signing Mexican International Chucky Lozano. That’s a big one, though it’s clearly a bit of an overpay to get a star that makes a ton of sense for a city that close to the border.

  • If this doesn’t warm your heart a bit you might be cold and dead inside.

  • On the RSL/SKC broadcast, announcer Max Bretos said that PRO Referees had a talk with Peter Vermes about his post-game shenanigans after the Minnesota United game. Apparently, Vermes called it a “very productive” conversation.
  • And finally, speaking of that picture, my favorite of the many memes that popped up from PV holding the tablet. He’s not worried y’all!

Did we miss a story you think we should cover? Put it in the comments for next time!

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