Let’s take a look at the MLS Cup final via player salaries. Here’s my attempt at a sort of Freakonomics or Malcolm Gladwell type of analysis. I’d say just more leaning to looking at the finances of the MLS Cup final than anything worthy of the two mentioned above, but an attempt nonetheless.
LA of course has the two highest paid players in all of Major League Soccer, in Beckham and Donvoan, and I wouldn’t say Real Salt Lake is at the bottom of the MLS in terms of pay, although they might be very close.
Added all together, the total salaries for LA: $8,441,326.70 (subtract Beckham’s and Donovan’s salaries and you’re looking at a total of $2,041326.70 for LA, which puts LA and Salt Lake on a more even playing field), since the total salaries for Real Salt Lake together are just: $1,945,372, so with Beckham and Donvoan included the LA team is earning more than four times as much as Salt Lake.
Jump to the full list of player salaries for the Galaxy and Real Salt Lake here.
Real Salt Lake’s highest paid player is Kyle Beckerman, earning $160,650 per year to kick around the little ball. Who’s the second highest paid player for Real Salt Lake? That would be the Colombian center back Jamison Olave, earning $157,500 per year.
Ned Grabavoy, who scored the game winning penalty kick against Chicago to put Real Salt Lake in the final, and played for LA in the past, earns $83,600 per year. Nick Rimondo, who made three penalty kick shoot out saves in the semi finals, earns $105,000 per year tending the nets for his club.
Real Salt Lake has seven players earning more than $100,000 per year – and this just barely, as a few players touch just above the $100K mark. On the other hand, the Los Angeles Galaxy has ten players earning over a $100,000 per year, and these players salaries are more in the mid range of $150K or more.
Real Madrid, who has a relationship with Real Salt Lake, just happens to be the club that has some of the highest paid players in world, in Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka. The clubs share the royal moniker ‘Real’ but it doesn’t show in the players paychecks over in Utah.
The Real Madrid and Real Salt Lake partnership centers on a youth development program, friendly matches, and Real Salt Lake trains in Spain during the pre-season. The biggest piece to the partnership is a $25 million youth academy, with Real Madrid paying half the costs that will train up to 200 players.
So far, Madrid and Salt Lake don’t share any commonalities in player salaries. Yura Movsisyan, perhaps Real Salt Lake’s most dangerous player, earns just $ 60,582 per year, no wonder he’s heading to play in Norway next year.
Real Salt Lake has a core group of wise old veterans on their team. And that’s maybe just wait has enabled them to get this far. Clint Mathis earns $115,000 and another veteran of the league Andy Williams makes $84,000. The deal of the team is Argentine Fabian Espindola making $42,000 per year. He started his career with Boca Juniors.
Two of the most interesting salaries to me on the LA side are rookie of the year Omar Gonzalez earning $65,000 and AJ DeLaGarza making $36,000. This might just say more about the quality of coaching at Maryland, the college they both attending. The two defenders have been quite extraordinary if you think about how they were playing college soccer just last year. DeLaGarza has being quite a return on investment for LA since he’s started over 20 games this year. As a comparison, Clint Dempsey make more than DeLaGarza in a week, with a weekly salary of $58,334 playing for Fulham in the EPL.
The most crucial signing and salary for LA could just be the other Donovan on LA. The Jamaican Donovan Ricketts earning $150,000, since he has be a key figure in turning around LA this year. They had no keeper last year. Time and time again he’s saved LA, or at least allowed them to stay in games and have a chance to win.
See the rest of the MLS player salaries for 2009 here.
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