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MLS Player Salaries Released: Kaka and Sebastian Giovinco Among Highest Earners

Peter Galindo@@GalindoPWFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2015

Orlando City's Kaka celebrates his goal against the Colorado Rapids during the second half of an MLS soccer game, Wednesday, June 24, 2015, in Orlando, Fla. Orlando won 2-0. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

The MLS Players Union released individual player salaries on Friday, with Orlando City's Kaka listed as the highest earner at around $7.2 million a year. Toronto FC's Michael Bradley ($6.5 million annually) makes the most money out of any American.

Jake Cohen @JakeFCohen

MLS highest-paid players (2015 guaranteed $ from league) Kaka: $7.2m Giovinco: $7.1m Bradley: $6.5m Gerrard: $6.3m Lampard: $6m Villa: $5.6m

The salaries were released less than a day after the MLS Players Union ratified the new collective bargaining agreement, per the official league website

The LA Galaxy's newest signing, Giovani Dos Santos, will earn roughly $4.1 million this year. That's more than $2 million less than his teammate Steven Gerrard, who is on $6.3 million in annual salary.

New York City FC's Frank Lampard is the team's highest-paid player this year at $6 million. Striker David Villa is on approximately $5.6 million, with Andrea Pirlo making just $2.3 million in 2015. However, the Italian midfielder is expected to be paid $8 million annually in the future, per Doug McIntyre of ESPN FC.

Jake Cohen @JakeFCohen

Since 2013, MLS salary cap has grown ~18% (from $2.95m to $3.49m). Since 2013, TV revenue alone has grown ~330% (from $27m to $90m py)

Toronto FC is spending more than $18 million in yearly salary on its three designated players. Jozy Altidore is on close to $4.8 million a year and Sebastian Giovinco makes around $7.1 million on top of Bradley's $6.5 million. Giovinco is the No. 2 earner in MLS.

The Seattle Sounders are paying U.S. international Clint Dempsey about $4.6 million a year, with Obafemi Martins making $3 million. When compared with other salaries across the league, the Sounders are getting a formidable return on their investment.

Total MLS @TotalMLS

That's 20 players that make a million plus: 4 play for LA, 4 are TFC players, 3 for NYCFC, 2 Sounders.

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One notable change in this year's salaries comes from the New York Red Bulls. Their payroll has significantly decreased after the departures of Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill, with just one player making over $600,000 a year in Bradley Wright-Phillips:

Franco Panizo @FrancoPanizo

What a difference a year makes. Used to seeing millions of $ on Red Bulls roster. Now? Only 1 player making over $600K. #RBNY

The Red Bulls have recently changed philosophy under sporting director Ali Curtis, but it hasn't hurt the club in the league standings. New York is currently in third place in the Eastern Conference.

Unless otherwise noted, all player salaries via the MLS Players Union. 

Peter Galindo covers MLS and U.S. soccer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @GalindoPW.

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