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MLS: Quality of Play Reflects Quality of Pay

Freddie Ljungberg The Major League Soccer Players Union released salary information for each player in the league.  Considered a second tier professional soccer league, the MLS has received substantial amounts of criticism and scrutiny in the media, particularly due to the quality of play. There is not a phrase more fitting than, “you get what you pay for.”  In 2008 the MLS had several players earning the league minimum which was $12,900 base salary; barely enough for rent, some new cleats, and maybe some Hot Pockets. Fortunately, the growth of the MLS has allowed the league to increase the minimum salary to $20,100 for 2009.

Below are some of the largest and notable contracts held the MLS in 2009.

Club    Player                                           Position                         Annual Base Salary

LA       Beckham David                                  M                                 $ 5, 500,000.08
CHI     Blanco Cuauhtemoc                         M                                $ 2, 769,240.00
SEA    Ljungberg Fredrik                             M                                $ 1, 300,000.00
LA       Donovan Landon                               F                                 $ 9 00,000.00
DC      Emilio Luciano                                     F                                 $ 7 20,000.00
CLB    Schelotto Guillermo Barros            F                                  $ 6 50,000.00
CHI     McBride Brian                                     F                                 $ 3 60,000.00
TFC     DeRosario Dwayne                          M                                $ 3 00,000.00
HOU   Clark Ricardo                                     M                                 $ 2 48,050.00
COL    Mastroeni Pablo                                M                                 $ 2 55,000.00
SJ        Convey Bobby                                    M                                 $ 2 22,000.00
CHV   Kljestan Sacha                                    M                                $ 1 70,000.00
RSL     Mathis Clint                                        M                                $ 1 15,000.00
CHV   Bornstein Jonathan                          D                                $ 9 0,000.00

The NBA and NFL also disclose the minimum salary that can be offered, which varies depending on the amount of years the athlete has served in the league. That being said, a rookie making minimum salary on an NFL roster earns $310,000 dollars. The NBA league minimum for a rookie is $475,588 dollars. I pose several questions: Is becoming a soccer agent a wise decision? Is the MLS underpaying its players? Do the players in the NBA and NFL get overpaid? Let me know what you think.