Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley turned heads around the world when they decided to leave Europe and join Major League Soccer clubs.
MLS made it worthwhile for the American stars to do so, as they are the highest-earning players in the league.
Dempsey leads the way, earning $6,695,189 in guaranteed compensation (salary and bonuses). Bradley is a close second with $6.5 million. The Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC pay the U.S. internationals far more than they earned in England and Italy respectively.
On Thursday, the Major League Soccer Players Union released the 2014 salary information for 555 players who currently play in MLS.
The average salary for an MLS player is $186,258.90 per year, according to Sports Illustrated. The median salary stands at $80,000 — the highest-ever figure in MLS.
However, 12 players earn more than $1 million annually thanks to the “Designated Player” rule, which allows individual teams to go above the salary cap in order to sign star players.
The MLS Millionaires’ club includes (each player’s guaranteed compensation is listed):
Michael Bradley, Toronto FC — $6,500,000
Tim Cahill, New York Red Bulls — $3,625,000
Jermaine Defoe, Toronto FC — $6,180,000
Clint Dempsey, Seattle Sounders — $6,695,189
Marco Di Vaio, Montreal Impact — $2,600,000
Landon Donovan, L.A. Galaxy — $4,583,333.33
Omar Gonzalez, L.A. Galaxy — $1,250,000
Thierry Henry, New York Red Bulls — $4,350,000
Gilberto Junior, Toronto F.C. — $1,205,000
Robbie Keane, L.A. Galaxy — $4,500,000
Obafemi Martins, Seattle Sounders — $1,753,333.33
Pedro Morales, Vancouver Whitecaps — $1,410,900
The New England Revolution’s Jose Goncalves is the highest-paid non-Designeted Player in MLS. The standout defender will earn $479,375 this season. Goncalves is the top earner on the Revolution roster.
See the entire list of MLS player salaries.