After staying in the dark last year, the salaries of Minnesota United and rest of the league’s players were released by the MLS Players Association on Thursday, May 13. While they didn’t share figures in 2020, the 2021 salaries, as of April 15, were given light.
The players’ association’s numbers are annualized guaranteed compensation of a player’s overall contract, including option years, so keep in mind, they are not pinpoint figures.
But these numbers are the best guideposts available. The Loons’ players salaries broken down into three tiers, with takeaways on a few players within each group.
The club’s highest-paid players, earning $600,000 and higher:
— Forward Ramon Abila, $1.1 million
— Midfielder Emanuel Reynoso, $966,910
— Attacker Robin Lod, $952,496
— Midfielder Jan Gregus, $883,500
— Midfielder Wil Trapp, $747,500
— Center back Bakaye Dibassy, $718,125
— Fullback Romain Metanire, $699,250
— Center back Ike Opara, $685,333
Relatively low: Abila’s number is high on this list, but not compared to the top earners in MLS. All other 26 clubs in the league have at least one player with a bigger wage, and 18 team have multiple players above Wanchope. FC Cincinnati has a stunning five players who are paid more than him. Abila’s salary comes in at 58th in the league’s overall list and there’s no long-term commitment to the 31-year-old striker; he’s here on a one-year loan from Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires.
A new high?: The Loons’ incoming Designated Player, French center forward, Adrien Hunou, could be on a higher salary, considering his reported $3.3 million transfer fee, but that figure was not included in the numbers. Before 2020, MLSPA released salary information twice a year, in spring and fall, so Hunou and incoming winger Franco Fragapane would be two new numbers to check out later this year.
No ROI: The Loons didn’t buy out Opara’s contract before the season started, and the 32-year-old center back, who re-signed a multi-year deal before the 2020 season, has remained out due to his issues with concussions. He has not played a game since March 2020 and there doesn’t appear to be a return in sight. But he is still getting paid.
The middle tier of Loons players making under half a million dollars but more than $150K:
— Winger Ethan Finlay, $450,000
— Midfielder Thomas Chacon, $432,000
— Center back Michael Boxall, $422,400
— Goalkeeper Tyler Miller, $420,937
— Midfielder Ozzie Alonso, $322,000
— Defender Jukka Raitala, $306,350
— Forward Juan Agudelo, $212,500
— Midfielder Jacori Hayes, $169,833
— Center back Brent Kallman, $158,125
Ozzie takes cut: The Loons brought back MLS legend Ozzie Alonso for a 13th MLS season but did so at a much lower salary. He earned roughly $700,000 in 2019, but due to his age (35) and games missed in 2020 (40 percent), the team trimmed his salary to less than half that. He is still productive, playing 273 of of 450 minutes in five games this year.
Signing Chacon’s checks?: United finally was able to loan Thomas Chacon to another club this spring after the Designated Player appeared in only six MLS games in 2019 and 2020. The 20-year-old is now with Liverpool FC in his native Uruguay, but a key question is whether MNUFC is paying a portion of his salary?
The lowest tier of pay for United players:
— Goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair, $99,520
— Goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas, $90,208
— Forward Foster Langsdorf, $85,444
— Center back Callum Montgomery, $83,292
— Midfielder Hassani Dotson, $81,375
— Fullback Chase Gasper, $81,375
— Forward Patrick Weah, $76,733
— Goalkeeper Fred Emmings, $72,724
— Fullback Noah Billingsley, $66,724
— Fullback D.J. Taylor $63,547
2019 class: The members of the Loons’ great 2019 draft class — St. Clair, Dotson and Gasper — are absolute salary steals considering how they have risen to be key contributors, if not every-game starters, in 2020 and so far in 2021. The club is believed to be working on contract extensions for that trio, and it’s very well deserved. Given performances so far in 2021, St. Clair and Dotson would be higher priorities.