Now, by underpaid, I don’t mean some rookie earning $18,000 a year. I mean someone who is in the upper echelon of players but isn’t paid like it. The source for my data is here.
Landon Donovan (making $900,000)
I am not a huge Landon Donovan fan, but with Beckham leaving, Donovan is probably the most talented player playing in MLS.
Donovan had 20 goals in 25 games last season, so at $900,000 for the coming season, I think that he's a bargain for the Galaxy.
Guillermo Barros Schelleto (making $775,000)
He received nice pay as a reward for leading the Crew to the MLS Cup, but the bottom line is that the entire reason that Columbus won last year was Schelleto.
His 19 assists on 43 Crew goals last season show how valuable the MVP was to his team.
Darren Huckerby (making $385,000)
Huckerby almost single-handedly turned the San Jose Earthquakes' season around. Despite playing in only 14 games, he led all SJ players with six goals and managed to add four assists also.
Based on last season’s form, Huckerby should be at least a top-ten player in terms of salary (he is currently 12th).
Sacha Kljestan (making $203,000)
Thirty-two others players in MLS stand to make more money this season than Kljestan, though he had a breakout season last year, both for club and country.
In only this third year in MLS, Kljestan was a member of the league’s Best XI, led Chivas USA in scoring, and was an All-Star. He is young, entertaining, and creative, and is probably the most underpaid player on the top-50 list.
Javier Morales (making $200,000)
If Kljestan is not the most underpaid player in MLS, then that honor has to go to Morales.
In the 2008 MLS regular season, he was second in the league in assists and instrumental in helping Real Salt Lake in their improbable late-season charge.
Tomorrow, we will look at the five most overpaid players in MLS.