LA Galaxy attacker Carlos Vela is Major League Soccer’s highest paid player this season, with $6.3 million in total compensation, including $4.5 million in salary.
Teammate Javier “Chicharito” Hernández is second at $6 million, all of it salary, according to figures released Thursday by the Major League Soccer Players Association.
Vela was limited to seven games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season due to a knee injury.
Miami forward Gonzalo Higuaín is third, with $5,793,750 compensation, including $5.1 million base salary, followed by Toronto midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo at $4,693,000, including $3.8 million base salary.
No list was released for 2020 amid the pandemic.
LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic set a MLS high with $7.2 million in 2019, then signed with AC Milan.
The union said the average base salary for senior roster players, not including designated players who count only partly under a team’s salary cap, is $398,725. That was up from $345,867 in 2019 and $138,140 in 2014.
Columbus forward Gyasi Zardes leads U.S. national team regulars at $1.4 million overall, including $1.35 million salary. He is followed by Colorado midfielder Kellyn Acosta ($1,115,000, $1 million), D.C. midfielder Paul Arriola ($1.05 million, $1 million), Nashville defender Walker Zimmerman ($981,050, $925,000), LA midfielder Sebastian Lletget ($923,750, $800,000), Atlanta defender Miles Robinson ($687,500, $650,000), Seattle midfielder Christian Roldan ($881,542, $760,000), New York Red Bulls defender Aaron Long ($925,000, $825,000), San Jose midfielder Jackson Yueill ($636,875, $600,000) and Colorado defender Sam Vines ($487,677, $425,000).
Orlando forward Daryl Dike, who went on loan to Barnsley in January, is at $128,750 overall, including $100,000 salary. Seattle forward Jordan Morris, sidelined by a torn ACL, is at $1,270,100 overall, including $1.15 million salary.
Others of note include Atlanta forward Josef Martinez ($3,891,6567, $3.5 million), New York City midfielder Maxi Moralez ($3,825,000, $2.5 million), Toronto forward Jozy Altidore ($3,602,250, $2,161,250), Miami forward Rodolfo Pizzaro ($3.35 million, $3.05 million), Montreal midfielder Victor Wanyama ($3,091,667, $2.4 million), Chicago forward Robert Beric ($2,703,164, $2,274,996), Orlando forward Nani ($2,486,250, $2,333,333), Cincinnati midfielder Luciano Acosta ($2,222,854, $1,943,500), LA midfielder Jonathan dos Santos ($2 million overall and salary), Columbus midfielder Darlington Nagbe ($1.71 million overall and salary), Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley ($1.5 million overall and salary) and Miami midfielder Blaise Matuidi ($1.5 million overall and salary).