One of my favorite days in the MLS season is when the MLS Players Association releases salary figures for its members. They do this twice a year (Spring/Fall) after a transfer window closes. It started way back in 2007 and its how fans know that Cuauhtemoc Blanco was the 2nd highest paid player in the league during his 3 seasons at Chicago. The current Governor of Morelos could never quite catch up to David Beckham‘s salary of $6.5m but he didn’t do too bad at $2.7m a season. For a salary capped league, it really matters how much you pay each player and what you get out of them. For example, it probably wasn’t the best idea for the Fire to make Nery Castillo the 6th highest paid player in the league back in 2010. But that’s the past, lets see if the current FO has done a better job allocating their resources…
- Link to Spreadsheet
As with most things Chicago Fire this season, the roster construction isn’t terrible but it could definitely get better.
- Right off the top you notice Xerdan Shaqiri and his $8m + salary but only a small portion counts against the cap, the rest of the tab is picked up by team owner, Joe Mansueto. Has he lived up to his salary? No but there have been encouraging signs since Frank took over.
- The other DP, Jairo Torres has been injured for most of his time in Chicago. The signing was liked by everyone when it was made and I’m still holding out hope it will work out for the team. He is more of a central player than Ezra used him and could very well replace Gaston Gimenez there in 2024. Gaston has improved his play but only has a contract through the end of the current season.
- Kacper Przybylko will be making 7 figures until the 2025 season. Although his play isn’t as bad as fans might think it is, he is up to 5 G+A in 587 mins so far. Good enough for a G+A/90 of .77, 13th in MLS but he isn’t the starting striker. Hard to be happy paying a backup that much money.
- The rest of the roster is filled with good value. With several key contributors making less than $250k.
- Mauricio Pineda signed a contract extension after salary numbers were released. We won’t know his new salary until numbers are released in September. We do know it is through 2026 with a club option for 2027.
It will be interesting to see how much I will need to revise the spreadsheet by the time the Fall Salary figures are released.