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MLS Transfer Fees

Just how much money has the MLS made selling players to clubs in Europe and beyond? The league is now heading into its 14th year, so it should be able to develop players and then funnel those players to other leagues to generate revenue. However, it has been a bit slow going, with a few big transfer fees coming in but not as many as you might expect for a league that's been around this long.

For the the individual MLS teams, they receive two-thirds of the transfer fee, which can go a long way in building a team. One team, Real Salt Lake, who just won the MLS Cup, may have had some success since they sold Freddy Adu a few years ago and could then free up that money to buy three or four strong players. But I think it goes a bit deeper than that and isn't the main reason they won the MLS Cup title.

It looks like three MLS clubs have had the most players sold to European clubs and earned money with transfer fees, those teams are Kansas City (3 players), Colorado (3 players), and then the New York Red Bulls and New York Metro Stars (7 players). Let's take a look at what players have earned their former MLS teams and the league some coin.

Player MLS Club New Club Transfer Fee
Jozy Altidore New York Villareal $10,000,000
Eddie Johnson Kansas City Fulham $6,000,000
Maurice Adu Toronto Glasgow Rangers $5,000,000
Clint Dempsey New England Fulham $4,000,000
Tim Howard New York Manchester United $3,600,000
Stern John Columbus Nottingham Forest $3,000,000
DaMarcus Beasley Chicago PSV Eindhoven $2,500,000
Freddy Adu Real Salt Lake Benfica $2,000,000
Damani Ralph Chicago Rubin Kazan $2,000,000
Eddie Lewis San Jose Fulham $1,900,000
Brad Friedel Columbus Liverpool $1,700,000
Brad Guzan Chivas U.S.A. Aston Villa $1,500,000
Brain McBride Columbus Fulham $1,500,000
Bobby Convey D.C. United Reading $1,500,000
Shaun Bartlett New York Zurich $1,300,000
Tory Perkins D.C. United Valerenga $750,000
J.P. Peguero New York Brondby $700,000
Mamadou Diallo New York Al Ahli $600,000
Nat Borchers Colorado Grenland $300,000
Onandi Lowe Kansas City Rushden $300,000
Josh Wolff Kansas City 1860 Munich $191,000
Marcus Hahnemann Colorado Fulham $150,000
Giovanni Savarese New York Viterbese $100,000
Michael Bradley New York Heerenveen $100,000


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