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Comparing Sporting KC Salaries for the Last Decade

Plus full salaries for every team from the last 10 years of Sporting Kansas City (and the Kansas City Wizards).

Bureau Of Engraving And Printing Prints New Anti-Counterfeit 100 Dollar Bills Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

With the 2020 season currently on hold due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) and Sporting KC sitting in the Supporter’s Shield spot, there is plenty of time to look at different aspects of the team. 2020 also brings a great chance to look back at things that happened over the last decade.

Something I often think about is how rapidly the talent (and spending) have increased across all of Major League Soccer (MLS). In relation to that I often think about which of the teams that came after the 2013 MLS Cup Champion Sporting Kansas City team could beat that team, if any.

Obviously the team hasn’t won a MLS Cup title since that fateful year, but they’ve added two more US Open Cup Trophies (2015, 2017) and a Western Conference regular season title (2018). Comparing salaries isn’t a fair way to look at things necessarily, but it’s one way. We’ll leave the debate for which team was the best for another day. For now, let’s look at salaries (note: all the numbers will feature guaranteed compensation and not base salary).

In 2013 the total team salary was $3,762,631. In 2019 (the most recent year and by far the worst in terms of on the field results) SKC’s salary was $12,070,675. It would have been higher if not for Yohan Croizet and the team mutually parting ways in September just before the salary release. He made $730,008.00 in 2019 before leaving. Even at the lower number, that’s an increase of more than 320 percent from 2013 to 2019.

Another note to compare is the team’s highest paid player. In 2013 that was Benny Feilhaber with a guaranteed compensation of $312,187. In 2019 that was Felipe Gutierrez (ostensibly Feilhaber’s replacement when he went to LAFC) at $1,649,999. A difference of $1,337,812.

Not only that, but a total of 12 players (not including Croizet) made more than Feilhaber’s 2013 number (Gutierrez, Johnny Russell, Krisztian Nemeth, Andreu Fontas, Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi, Matt Besler, Gerso Fernandez, Feilhaber himself, Rodney Wallace and Tim Melia). Maybe the real problem is that a good chunk of those players weren’t regular starters. Wallace barely played. Fontas wasn’t much better. And the list goes on and on.

Compensation from 2010 to 2019

Salaries went up pretty consistently for both SKC and the entire league over the last decade. There was a minor dip from 2013 to 2014 ($3,762,631 to $3,731,611) and again from 2016 to 2017 ($6,740,721 to $6,588,351). What’s really noticeable is the huge jump from 2017 to 2018 ($6,588,351 to $11,554,237).

2018 brought the additions of the team’s highest two paid players (Russell and Gutierrez) along with the next two highest paid guys as mid-year additions (Fontas and Nemeth). It’s a little misleading as Nemeth was reportedly still partially on the books at the New England Revolution, but it was clear SKC were serious about improving their team after a run of playoff one-and-done scenarios. 2020 will likely continue that spending trend (we’ll know more in the late spring or early summer).

Without further delay, here is a look at the salaries from 2010 to 2019. For reference I’ve added the team’s highest paid players and the number of players making north of $500,000. Why 500K? Well, the Designated Player number has steadily increased over the years but it seemed like a good benchmark.

2010-2019 SKC Salary Comparison

Year Total Above $500K Highest Paid
Year Total Above $500K Highest Paid
2019 $12,070,675 9* Felipe Gutierrez - $1,649,999
2018 $11,554,237 9 Felipe Gutierrez - $1,649,999
2017 $6,588,351 6 Roger Espinoza - $850,000
2016 $6,740,721 4 Roger Espinoza - $800,000
2015 $5,885,125 4 Roger Espinoza - $750,000
2014 $3,731,611 0 Graham Zusi - $398,250
2013 $3,762,631 0 Benny Feilhaber - $312,187
2012 $3,226,599 0 Julio Cesar - $255,750
2011 $3,225,771 1^ Davy Arnaud - $258,750^
2010 $3,060,107 0 Jimmy Conrad - $244,000
*The aforementioned salary of Croizet is off the books as of this number. Otherwise it’s closer to $13 million.
^2011 is an odd year as Omar Bravo is listed at a mere $170,000 despite being a Designated Player. The DP charge that year was $335,000, so the numbers are definitely wrong, but there is no true indication of his salary.

Complete Salaries for the Last Decade

Over the years The Blue Testament has released much of the salary data available from MLS but we’ve never put it all in one spot. Below are all the salaries, from most recent all the way back to 2010.

2019 SKC Salaries

First Name Last Name Position(s) Base Salary Guaranteed Compensation
First Name Last Name Position(s) Base Salary Guaranteed Compensation
Felipe Gutierrez M $1,599,999.96 $1,649,999.96
Johnny Russell M-F $1,449,999.96 $1,449,999.96
Krisztian Nemeth F $950,000.04 $1,063,666.71
Andreu Fontas D $1,050,000.00 $1,050,000.00
Ilie Sanchez D-M $900,000.00 $900,000.00
Roger Espinoza M $800,000.04 $800,000.04
Graham Zusi D-M $625,000.08 $688,333.41
Matt Besler D $574,997.64 $674,997.64
Gerso Fernandes M-F $550,008.00 $550,008.00
Benny Feilhaber M $413,400.00 $463,400.00
Rodney Wallace M $360,000.00 $360,000.00
Tim Melia GK $325,008.00 $341,674.67
Botond Barath D $250,000.08 $297,333.41
Luis Martins D $240,000.00 $240,000.00
Nicolas Hasler M $168,000.00 $183,666.67
Erik Hurtado F $174,999.96 $181,249.96
Jimmy Medranda D-M $155,004.00 $155,004.00
Seth Sinovic D $135,000.00 $143,000.00
Daniel Salloi M-F $129,999.96 $139,624.96
Gianluca Busio M-F $90,000.00 $92,500.00
Jaylin Lindsey D $75,000.00 $88,000.00
Tyler Freeman F $70,249.92 $82,749.92
Gedion Zelalem M $56,250.00 $77,916.67
Eric Dick GK $70,250.04 $73,699.58
Wan Kuzain D-M $70,875.00 $70,875.00
Adrian Zendejas GK $70,250.04 $70,250.04
Cameron Duke M $56,250.00 $69,250.00
Graham Smith D-M $57,225.00 $57,225.00
Felipe Hernandez M $56,250.00 $56,250.00

2018 SKC Salaries

First Last Position Base 2018 Oct Total 2018 Oct
First Last Position Base 2018 Oct Total 2018 Oct
Felipe Gutierrez M $1,599,999.96 $1,649,999.96
Johnny Russell M $1,331,578.92 $1,331,578.92
Krisztian Nemeth F $900,000.00 $1,007,666.67
Andreu Fontas D $999,999.96 $999,999.96
Roger Espinoza M $900,000.00 $900,000.00
Matt Besler D $750,000.00 $783,250.00
Graham Zusi D $750,000.00 $782,102.27
Yohan Croizet M $650,004.00 $680,004.00
Gerso Fernandes F-M $550,008.00 $591,258.00
Ike Opara D $324,999.96 $342,916.63
Ilie Sanchez M $325,008.00 $330,008.00
Tim Melia GK $300,000.00 $316,666.67
Diego Rubio F $250,000.00 $266,875.00
Cristian Lobato M $240,000.00 $240,000.00
Brad Evans D-M $200,000.04 $200,000.04
Seth Sinovic D $150,000.00 $157,666.67
Jimmy Medranda D $140,004.00 $140,004.00
Khiry Shelton F $102,245.00 $119,745.00
Gianluca Busio F $80,004.00 $82,504.00
Daniel Salloi F $67,500.00 $81,625.00
Kharlton Belmar F $68,254.20 $68,254.20
Tyler Freeman F $55,200.00 $67,700.00
Jaylin Lindsey D $54,504.00 $67,504.00
Wan Kuzain M $67,500.00 $67,500.00
Eric Dick GK $54,500.04 $57,949.58
Amer Didic D $55,654.20 $55,654.20
Colton Storm D $55,654.20 $55,654.20
Adrian Zendejas GK $55,650.00 $55,650.00
Graham Smith D $54,500.04 $54,500.04
Emiliano Amor D
Matt Lewis D

2017 SKC Salaries

Name Pos Base Salary Compensation
Name Pos Base Salary Compensation
Roger Espinoza M $850,000.00 $850,000.00
Matt Besler D $725,000.00 $758,250.00
Graham Zusi M $725,000.00 $757,102.27
Dom Dwyer F $550,000.00 $668,750.00
Benny Feilhaber M $600,000.00 $600,000.00
Gerso Fernandes M-F $550,008.00 $591,258.00
Ilie Sanchez M $300,000.00 $305,000.00
Kostner Diego Rubio F $202,000.00 $218,875.00
Soni Mustivar M $200,000.00 $200,000.00
Tim Melia GK $165,000.00 $167,500.00
Ike Opara D $150,000.00 $150,000.00
Kevin Ellis D $140,004.00 $148,337.33
Seth Sinovic D $125,000.00 $132,666.67
Jimmy Medranda D $130,008.00 $130,008.00
Cameron Porter F $65,000.00 $117,500.00
Igor Juliao D $100,008.00 $115,008.00
Saad Abdul-Salaam D $96,800.00 $110,550.00
Andrew Dykstra GK $80,004.00 $87,654.51
Alec Kann GK $77,004.00 $77,004.00
Erik Palmer-Brown D $75,000.00 $75,500.00
Latif Blessing F $65,004.00 $74,379.00
Jonathan Kempin GK $65,004.00 $65,004.00
Soony Saad F $65,004.00 $65,004.00
Cameron Iwasa F $53,004.00 $53,004.00
Colton Storm D $53,004.00 $53,004.00
Adrian Zendejas GK $53,000.00 $53,000.00
Daniel Salloi F $53,000.00 $53,000.00
Tyler Pasher D-M $53,000.00 $53,000.00

2016 SKC Salaries

Name Pos Base salary Guaranteed
Name Pos Base salary Guaranteed
Roger Espinoza M $800,000.00 $800,000.00
Matt Besler D $700,000.00 $733,250.00
Graham Zusi F-M $700,000.00 $732,102.27
Dom Dwyer F $500,000.00 $618,750.00
Nuno Coelho D $275,000.00 $412,500.00
Benny Feilhaber M $400,000.00 $412,187.50
Brad Davis M $355,000.00 $355,000.00
Justin Mapp M $224,070.00 $239,070.00
Chance Myers D-M $200,000.00 $225,000.00
Paulo Nagamura M $225,000.00 $225,000.00
Soni Mustivar M $200,000.00 $200,000.00
Diego Rubio F $180,000.00 $196,875.00
Tim Melia GK $150,000.00 $152,500.00
Jacob Peterson F $137,750.00 $144,625.00
Bernardo Anor M $132,624.00 $132,624.00
Ike Opara D $125,000.00 $131,250.00
Lawrence Olum D $105,000.00 $115,000.00
Seth Sinovic M-D $105,000.00 $112,666.67
Jonathan Kempin GK $82,750.00 $82,750.00
Connor Hallisey M $63,000.00 $76,750.00
Saad Abdul-Salaam D $63,000.00 $76,750.00
Ever Alvarado D $51,500.04 $75,166.71
Kevin Ellis D $72,000.00 $75,150.00
Cameron Porter F $62,500.00 $69,750.00
Erik Palmer-Brown D $65,000.00 $65,500.00
Alec Kann GK $63,000.00 $63,000.00
Jimmy Medranda M $63,000.00 $63,000.00
Benji Joya M $51,504.00 $51,504.00
Daniel Salloi F $51,500.00 $51,500.00
Emmanuel Appiah M $51,499.92 $51,499.92

2015 SKC Salaries

Name Pos Base salary Guaranteed
Name Pos Base salary Guaranteed
Roger Espinoza M $750,000 $750,000
Matt Besler D $650,000 $683,250
Graham Zusi F-M $650,000 $682,102
Dom Dwyer F $400,000 $518,750
Benny Feilhaber M $350,000 $362,187
Amobi Okugo M $275,000 $300,000
Soni Mustivar M $250,000 $250,000
Krisztian Nemeth F $250,000 $250,000
Paulo Nagamura M $230,000 $230,000
Chance Myers D-M $170,000 $195,000
Marcel de Jong D $180,000 $191,500
Mikey Lopez M $100,000 $172,000
Jalil Anibaba D $120,000 $150,000
Seth Sinovic M-D $140,000 $146,750
Bernardo Anor M $135,000 $135,000
Jacob Peterson F $123,500 $130,375
Ike Opara D $115,000 $121,250
Jonathan Kempin GK $85,000 $92,083
Tim Melia GK $80,000 $84,203
Saad Abdul-Salaam D $60,000 $73,750
Connor Hallisey M $60,000 $73,750
Kevin Ellis D $60,000 $63,150
Erik Palmer-Brown D $60,000 $60,500
Jimmy Medranda M $60,000 $60,000
Jordi Quintilla M $50,000 $59,525
Amadou Dia D $50,000 $50,000

2014 SKC Salaries

Last Name First Name Position 2014 Base Salary 2014 Guaranteed Compensation
Last Name First Name Position 2014 Base Salary 2014 Guaranteed Compensation
Zusi Graham F-M 365,000.00 $398,250.00
Feilhaber Benny M 325,000.00 $337,187.50
Collin Aurelien D 275,000.00 $281,250.00
Bieler Claudio F 225,000.00 $225,000.00
Nagamura Paulo M 220,000.00 $220,000.00
Besler Matt D 200,000.00 $200,000.00
Dovale Toni D 180,000.00 $185,000.00
Myers Chance D-M 160,000.00 $185,000.00
Rosell Oriol M 150,000.00 $158,750.00
Lopez Mikey M 85,000.00 $157,000.00
Sinovic Seth M-D 125,000.00 $131,750.00
Kronberg Eric Gk 120,000.00 $120,000.00
Peterson Jacob F 110,000.00 $114,833.33
Sapong Cj F 95,000.00 $112,000.00
Opara Ike D 97,500.00 $103,750.00
Dwyer Dom F 80,000.00 $92,500.00
Zizzo Sal F 77,000.00 $91,045.71
Gruenebaum Andy Gk 85,000.00 $85,000.00
Kempin Jonathan Gk 70,000.00 $77,083.33
Joseph Peterson M 51,150.00 $51,150.00
Saad Soony F 51,150.00 $51,150.00
Ellis Kevin D 48,825.00 $49,575.00
Palmer-Brown Erik D 48,500.00 $49,000.00
Olum Lawrence M/D 48,825.00 $48,825.00
Medranda Jimmy M 48,504.00 $48,504.00
Juliao Igor D 48,500.00 $48,500.00
Martinez Alex M 36,504.00 $36,504.00
Munoz Victor M 36,504.00 $36,504.00
Duke Christian D 36,500.00 $36,500.00

2013 SKC Salaries

Player Salary Guaranteed
Player Salary Guaranteed
Benny Feilhaber $300,000.00 $312,187.50
Kei Kamara $300,000.00 $302,500.00
Paulo Nagamura $265,000.00 $270,500.00
Aurelien Collin $250,000.00 $250,000.00
Jimmy Nielsen $200,000.00 $220,000.00
Teal Bunbury $110,000.00 $208,000.00
Claudio Bieler $200,000.00 $200,000.00
Bobby Convey $200,000.00 $200,000.00
Matt Besler $180,000.00 $180,000.00
Graham Zusi $140,000.00 $173,812.50
Mikey Lopez $75,000.00 $147,000.00
Chance Myers $105,000.00 $120,666.67
Oriol Rosell $110,000.00 $118,750.00
Jacob Peterson $100,000.00 $104,833.33
Seth Sinovic $90,000.00 $96,750.00
Ike Opara $90,000.00 $96,250.00
CJ Sapong $75,000.00 $92,000.00
Dom Dwyer $65,000.00 $77,500.00
Eric Kronberg $76,835.00 $76,835.00
Jon Kempin $60,000.00 $67,083.33
Michael Thomas $57,750.00 $60,713.21
Josh Gardner $60,000.00 $60,000.00
Kevin Ellis $46,500.00 $47,250.00
Peterson Joseph $46,500.00 $46,500.00
Lawrence Olum $46,500.00 $46,500.00
Soony Saad $46,500.00 $46,500.00
Christian Duke $35,125.00 $35,125.00
Mechack Jerome $35,125.00 $35,125.00
Kyle Miller $35,125.00 $35,125.00
Yann Songo'o $35,125.00 $35,125.00

2012 SKC Salaries

Player Salary Guaranteed
Player Salary Guaranteed
Julio Cesar $250,000.00 $255,750.00
Paulo Nagamura $250,000.00 $255,500.00
Jimmy Nielsen $200,000.00 $220,000.00
Aurelien Collin $210,000.00 $216,250.00
Bobby Convey $200,000.00 $215,000.00
Kei Kamara $210,000.00 $212,500.00
Teal Bunbury $100,000.00 $198,000.00
Roger Espinoza $125,000.00 $158,750.00
Michael Harrington $125,000.00 $151,833.33
Graham Zusi $105,000.00 $138,812.50
Matt Besler $91,751.00 $103,001.00
Chance Myers $86,000.00 $101,666.67
Oriol Rosell $90,000.00 $98,750.00
Neven Markovic $90,000.00 $90,000.00
Jacob Peterson $81,000.00 $85,833.33
CJ Sapong $65,000.00 $82,000.00
Dom Dwyer $60,000.00 $72,500.00
Eric Kronberg $69,850.00 $69,850.00
Seth Sinovic $60,000.00 $66,750.00
Michael Thomas $55,000.00 $57,963.21
Jon Kempin $46,500.00 $53,583.33
Kevin Ellis $44,000.00 $44,750.00
Olukorede Aiyegbusi $44,100.00 $44,100.00
Lawrence Olum $44,100.00 $44,100.00
Peterson Joseph $44,100.00 $44,100.00
Soony Saad $44,000.00 $44,000.00
Cyprian Hedrick $33,756.00 $33,756.00
Kyle Miller $33,750.00 $33,750.00
Konrad Warzycha $33,750.00 $33,750.00

2011 SKC Salaries

Player Salary Guaranteed
Player Salary Guaranteed
Arnaud Davy $250,000.00 $258,750.00
Nielsen Jimmy $200,000.00 $241,666.67
Cesar Julio $210,000.00 $213,750.00
Auvray Stephane $170,000.00 $208,125.00
Kamara Kei $200,000.00 $202,500.00
Collin Aurelien $185,004.00 $191,254.00
Bunbury Teal $85,000.00 $183,000.00
Thomas Shavar $160,000.00 $174,375.00
Bravo Omar $120,000.00 $170,000.00
Smith Ryan $140,000.00 $144,375.00
Harrington Michael $110,000.00 $136,833.33
Espinoza Roger $100,000.00 $133,750.00
Kounenakis Nick $110,004.00 $120,004.00
Rocastle Craig $110,000.00 $116,062.50
Stojcev Milos $90,000.00 $99,000.00
Myers Chance $72,000.00 $87,666.67
Besler Matt $58,410.00 $69,660.00
Diop Ibrahim $60,000.00 $64,250.00
Kronberg Eric $62,500.00 $62,500.00
Kempin Jonathan $42,000.00 $49,083.33
Aiyegbusi Olukorede $42,000.00 $42,000.00
Sapong Charles $42,000.00 $42,000.00
Sassano Luke $42,000.00 $42,000.00
Zusi Graham $42,000.00 $42,000.00
Ellis Kevin $32,604.00 $33,354.00
Jones Mychel $32,604.00 $32,604.00
Lorenz Scott $32,604.00 $32,604.00
Warzycha Konrad $32,604.00 $32,604.00

2010 KC Salaries

Player Salary Guaranteed
Player Salary Guaranteed
Conrad Jimmy $232,750.00 $244,000.00
Arnaud Davy $220,000.00 $228,750.00
Wolff Josh $220,004.00 $220,004.00
Kamara Kei $180,000.00 $182,500.00
Hercegfalvi Zoltan $168,000.00 $168,000.00
Bunbury Teal $65,000.00 $163,000.00
Thomas Shavar $145,000.00 $159,375.00
Jewsbury Jack $145,000.00 $154,125.00
Auvray Stephane $140,000.00 $148,125.00
Myers Chance $70,000.00 $142,000.00
Nielsen Jimmy $100,000.00 $141,666.67
Smith Ryan $125,000.00 $129,375.00
Chhetri Sunil $100,008.00 $110,008.00
Espinoza Roger $75,000.00 $108,750.00
Rocastle Craig $96,000.00 $102,062.50
Harrington Michael $78,516.00 $97,266.00
Hirsig Santiago $75,000.00 $75,000.00
Kounenakis Nikos $60,000.00 $70,000.00
Besler Matt $50,600.00 $61,850.00
Diop Ibrahim $57,000.00 $58,250.00
Kronberg Eric $56,000.00 $56,000.00
Aiyegbusi Olukorede $40,000.00 $40,000.00
Beasley Jamar $40,000.00 $40,000.00
Escobar Pablo $40,000.00 $40,000.00
Hohlbein Aaron $40,000.00 $40,000.00
Leathers Jonathan $40,000.00 $40,000.00
Zusi Graham $40,000.00 $40,000.00