The New England Revolution just signed Mr. Feilhaber to a new contract for where he will make $400,000 a year. Where does Benny Feilhaber fit in the pay scale of current MLS players?
Recently, Kyle Martino called the MLS out on their spending habits, saying why is the MLS willing to shell out this much money for a player who didn’t make it Europe and then not play their home grown talent just has handsomely.
But Failhaber is on the United States national team. He just played in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Perhaps that salary is a warranted, especially when you take those two factors into account. But, would they have got him for $250,000? I don’t know the ins and outs of the MLS negotiation tactics of the MLS. However, if you look at the top players in the league, they are making a fair sum of money:
David Beckham LA Galaxy $6,500,000 Thierry Henry NY Red Bulls $5,600,000 Rafa Marques NY Red Bulls $5,544,000 Landon Donovan LA Galaxy $2,127,778 Juan Pablo Angel NY Red Bulls $1,918,000 Julian De Guzman Toronto FC $1,717,546 Mista Toronto FC $987,337 Branko Boskovic DC United $516,200 Shalrie Joseph New England $475,000 Dwayne DeRosario NY Red Bulls $443,750 Brian Ching Houston Dynamo $350,000 Carl Robinson Toronto FC NY Red Bulls $315,000 Bobby Convey San Jose Earthquakes $307,500 David Ferreira FC Dallas $300,000 Alvaro Fernandez Seattle Sounders $300,000 Kasey Keller Seattle Sounders $300,000 Fred Philadelphia Union $282,000
What’s more, making it in Europe is very hard. Players have to find the right team and the right coach. And timing has a lot to do with it. It is surprising that Feilhaber couldn’t find a team after a successful World Cup, yet there are lot of good players who have trouble making their way in Europe right away.
Even a player like Stuart Holden didn’t make it right away in England, yes there was an off the field incident, as he was hit in the eye outside a club I believe, and that held Holden back, but he needed to come to the MLS to get some more games under his belt. Look at a player like Gomez, finding his place in Mexico, it didn’t happen immediately but eventually with a new coach he earned his place again. Even a player like Michael Bradley is having a hard time fitting in right from the start at Aston Villa. How much would the MLS pay Michael Bradley to play back in the MLS, I’m guessing maybe $500,000-$700,000.
I think it’s a bit too early to say Feilhaber is making too much money, let’s give him ten or so games and then make that call. If he can score goals like the one he scored versus Mexico in the Gold Cup a few years ago, then I think New England will be happy with what they are paying him.