SOCCER MONEY MATTERS

Dynamo rank last in 2018 MLS salaries with $5.2 million roster

The Dynamo's "moneyball" approach saw them reach the Western Conference final in 2017. Courtesy of Wilf Thorne/Houston Dynamo

Major League Soccer player salaries were published Thursday - about one week after the close of the primary transfer window. Toronto FC came in with the highest payroll once again with three of their players making $5 million or more while the Houston Dynamo came in last among active teams for the second consecutive year.

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco topped the list with a guaranteed compensation of $7,115,555.67 while 2014 FIFA World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger is the owner of the highest base salary of $6,100,000.08 as a member of the Chicago Fire. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who arrived from Manchester United in March, is revealed to be playing with the LA Galaxy for a $1,500,000.00 salary.

The Dynamo’s total payroll of $5.26 million was lower than the top five players in the league in both base salary and guaranteed compensation. The entire list can be found on the MLS Players Association website.

The highest paid player on the Dynamo roster is Honduran forward Alberth Elis, making $650,340.00 annually. Swedish defender Adam Lundkvist, who was signed about two weeks ago and participated in his first practice with the team on Thursday afternoon in Vancouver, ame in second in base salary with a $405,000.00 salary.

Nine players at the Dynamo make under $100,000.00 in base salary including Memo Rodriguez, who scored the 90th minute game winner against the LA Galaxy last Saturday. Rookies Michael Nelson and Mac Steeves are tied for the lowest salary at 54,500.04.

The low on-field investment - compared to other MLS teams - has been one of the leading concerns among Dynamo fans in recent years. Gabriel Brener became the majority stakeholder in the club after buying out AEG’s share in December 2015.

Following the Dynamo’s playoff elimination after a 5-0 aggregate defeat to Seattle Sounders FC in the MLS Western Conference final last November, Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera was asked about having a higher budget to which he responded, “Our budget is not going to change...We’re going to try and do the same thing with the budget and find the players we can afford."
 

Dynamo General Manager Matt Jordan was on Soccer Matters with Glenn Davis earlier this week and was asked about the rumors of signing 2010 FIFA World Cup winner Fernando Torres this upcoming summer. Jordan responded, “I think we’ve shown, we’re willing to make investments. We have an ownership group that shows that, especially this last offseason with some of the acquisitions that we’ve made and they were significant investments in players like [Alberth] Elis and [Juan David] Cabezas.

“Our ownership group is definitely willing, and obviously it has to be the right player, the right timing,” added Jordan on having the financial backing from the club's ownership group, which includes Brener's longtime business partner and former Boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya.

The Dynamo acquired Elis and Cabezas on permanent transfers in the offseason, although the purchase fees were not disclosed. The club also punted on the upwards of $7 million investment in forward Erick Torres - who commanded a 650,000.00 base salary in 2017 - by selling the player for a reported $2 million fee this past January.

The Dynamo are in action tonight at Vancouver Whitecaps FC (9:30 p.m. CT kickoff, KUBE 57).

MLS Salaries by team (rounded to the nearest dollar)

Team

Base salary

Guaranteed compensation

1. Toronto FC

$23,480,305

$26,167,499

2. Los Angeles Galaxy

$14,799,180

$17,502,008

3. New York City FC

$13,249,558

$14,147,633

4. Chicago Fire

$13,165,346

$13,824,204

5. Los Angeles FC

$11,254,869

$13,432,053

6. Portland Timbers

$11,209,418

$12,516,335

7. Montreal Impact

$7,230,911

$11,888,541

8. Seattle Sounders

$9,767,458

$11,376,125

9. Atlanta United

$10,369,120

$11,306,330

10. Colorado Rapids

$9,981,477

$11,001,331

11. FC Dallas

$8,239,754

$9,333,819

12. Sporting Kansas City

$8,825,490

$9,176,166

13. Orlando City

$8,230,668

$8,981,658

14. Real Salt Lake

$8,228,528

$8,975,666

15. Philadelphia Union

$8,492,604

$8,915,988

16. Vancouver Whitecaps

$7,531,016

$8,233,012

17. Minnesota United

$7,561,894

$8,152,683

18. San Jose Earthquakes

$7,116,235

$7,787,253

19. New York Red Bulls

$7,079,490

$7,689,314

20. Columbus Crew

$6,632,083

$6,971,083

21. New England Revolution

$6,139,674

$6,818,556

22. D.C. United

$6,325,797

$6,744,420

23. Houston Dynamo

$5,267,338

$5,673,472

 

Houston Dynamo 2018 Player Salaries

Note: The Dynamo waived Midfielder Charlie Ward, announced Wednesday afternoon.
 

 

First Name

Last Name

Position

Base Salary

Total Compensation

1.

Alberth

Elis

F

$650,340.00

$650,340.00

2.

Adam

Lundkvist

D

$405,000.00

$433,750.00

3.

Tomas

Martinez

M

$305,004.00

$487,929.00

4.

DaMarcus

Beasley

D

$275,004.00

$275,004.00

5.

Mauro

Manotas

F

$264,328.08

$264,328.08

6.

Eric

Alexander

M

$260,004.00

$260,004.00

7.

Juan

Cabezas

M

$255,156.00

$279,156.00

8.

Romell

Quioto

F

$240,000.00

$252,500.00

9.

Andrew

Wenger

M

$230,000.00

$230,000.00

10.

Darwin

Ceren

M

$225,000.00

$274,375.00

11.

Philippe

Senderos

D

$225,000.00

$242,500.00

12.

Adolfo

Machado

D

$220,008.00

$236,508.00

13.

AJ

DeLaGarza

D

$200,000.04

$207,500.04

14.

Leonardo

Da Silva

D

$157,504.50

$165,171.17

15.

Chris

Seitz

GK

$155,004.00

$155,004.00

16.

Arturo

Alvarez

M

$150,000.00

$157,500.00

17.

Oscar Boniek

Garcia

M

$150,000.00

$165,000.00

18.

Joe

Willis

GK

$124,999.92

$132,749.92

19.

Dylan

Remick

D

$105,000.00

$106,666.67

20.

Jared

Watts

D-M

$92,500.00

$92,500.00

21.

Alejandro

Fuenmayor

D

$85,008.00

$112,508.00

22.

Kevin

Garcia

D

$68,915.07

$68,915.07

23.

George

Malki

D

$68,254.20

$68,254.20

24.

Eric

Bird

M

$67,500.00

$67,500.00

25.

Luis

Gil

M

$67,500.00

$67,500.00

26.

Memo

Rodriguez

M

$55,654.20

$55,654.20

27.*

Charlie

Ward

M

$55,654.20

$55,654.20

28.

Michael

Nelson

GK

$54,500.04

$54,500.04

29.

Mac

Steeves

GK

$54,500.04

$54,500.04

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The new-look Texans won't get started until September, but the Roughnecks' season is about to begin. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

Without much fanfare, or seemingly any, the Houston Roughnecks are preparing for opening night of the XFL 3.0 season just a couple of weeks away.

The Roughnecks will host the Orlando Guardians, 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18 at TDECU Stadium on the UH campus. That’s less than a week after the NFL’s Super Bowl.

Before one pass is thrown, one run rushed, or one groin pulled, Las Vegas has set odds for the 2023 XFL season. Our Roughnecks and the Orlandos are tied for the longest odds on the board, +750. The early betting favorite is the St. Louis Battlehawks at +400.

Just a note: if you’re like Cosmo Kramer and think wagering on early-season XFL games is “some sweet action” – well, “you really need help, you need a team of psychiatrists working around the clock, thinking about you” and George Costanza.

Not surprisingly, good seats remain for opening night. Lousy seats, too. And seats in the middle.

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One thing in the Roughnecks favor: affordable seats for their five home games on the XFL’s 10-game schedule. Season tickets for Roughnecks games start at $110 and go up to $480 at xfl.com. Individual game tickets, available on Ticketmaster, are $24 and higher. Reasonably priced food and drink (I kid because I love), plus an array of team merch will be available, including T-shirts ($25), baseball caps ($28-$34), sweatshirts and sweatpants ($45-$60), and bucket hats ($45).

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This is now. Much like the Texans (as of this week), the most recognizable and popular figure on the field will be the head coach. The 2023 Roughnecks will be led by NFL veteran Wade Phillips, who has a lot of history and DNA in Houston. Quarterbacks currently on the roster are Cole McDonald from Hawaii, Kaleb Eleby from Western Michigan and Brandon Silvers from Troy State.

Most of the roster will be new names for Houston fans, although the league is bragging that 255 XFL’ers have been on NFL rosters at some point.

The Roughnecks will compete in the XFL South division along with the Arlington Renegades, Orlando Guardians and San Antonio Brahmas. That’s three out of four teams from Texas. The XFL North is comprised of the D.C. Defenders, Seattle Sea Dragons, St. Louis Battlehawks and Vegas Vipers.

Every XFL game (40 regular season, two playoffs, one championship) will air somewhere across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and FX, plus streaming on ESPN+. As they say, check your local listing to find the Roughnecks.

If you think that the XFL is just “too soon,” hold on until April when the Houston Gamblers take the field for the 2023 USFL season. Although don’t get too excited about attending home games. Houston’s “home” is in Birmingham, Ala. I know, silly.

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