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Final 2021 Sporting KC Salaries Released

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We learn the salaries of the newly signed players and break down the entire roster’s pay.

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Sporting Kansas City Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today, the Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA) released the final 2021 salary data. They had released an earlier set of data in May of 2021, but this will be the last numbers of the year until next spring. It’s a welcome change from 2020 when no salary data was released.

Sporting Kansas City have only signed two players since the last set of numbers were released: midfielders Jose Mauri and Jake Davis. Mauri is a player with experience at some big clubs while Davis is the latest Homegrown to progress through the SKC Academy, to the second team (SKC II) and all the way to the first team. Here are their salaries:

  • Jose Mauri - $660,000
  • Jake Davis - $63,547

Of note, Gianluca Busio is also removed from the data, having been sold to Serie A side Venezia FC. It’s unbelievable what a bargain he was at $127,504.

It’s always worth a reminder that the salary information comes with two sets of numbers: a base salary and guaranteed compensation. If players have any sort of bonus it should show in the guaranteed compensation and be prorated over the life of the deal and unless mentioned otherwise, that’s the numbers we’ll be talking about.

Also worth remember is MLS is a league with a Salary Budget. It’s not a hard salary cap, but flexible with numerous mechanisms to allow players to be fit into the budget. The largest example is the Designated Player (DP) rule, where a player can be paid an unlimited salary but only count as the league maximum ($612,500 in 2021) against the budget. Sporting’s three DPs in 2021 are Ala Pulido, Johnny Russell and Gadi Kinda. Kinda is only the 6th highest paid player on the team, but his rumored transfer fee pushes him into that category (more on transfer fees in a moment).

So while the budget is only $4,900,000 this year and next, Sporting KC actually has a salary outlay of $14,129,111 in 2021. Other mechanisms like General Allocation Money (GAM), Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) and various roster spots that don’t count against the budget (e.g. Homegrown and Reserve spots) allow Sporting and the other clubs in the league to spend far more than the $4.9 million.

That leaves Sporting Kansas City as the 8th most expensive (in terms of salary outlay) roster in the league. What salary spend doesn’t account for is transfer fees. Sporting KC have recently paid out some larger fees (Alan Pulido and Gadi Kinda) but historically have been far behind their league counterparts.

For what it’s worth, the highest spending teams have mostly faltered this year. Seattle is the 9th highest (just behind KC) and are in first in the West and the New England Revolution are the 20th despite running away with the Supporter’s Shield race. Again, Seattle and New England absolutely spent big on transfer fees, so it only tells part of the story.

The Athletic has a nice breakdown of all the spending by team if you are a subscriber.

Full SKC Salary Data

The full Sporting KC salary data is below. What do you think of the spending? Is it well distributed across the roster? Five players on the team are millionaires, of which three basically play center back (Andreu Fontas, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin and Ilie Sanchez). Ten players make over the league salary budget maximum, which is higher than many other teams. What about the fourteen players who make under $100,000, of which all but Kendall McIntosh are on Homegrown deals? There is a lot to think about and break down.

The Blue Testament will bring you more on where Sporting KC fit within the league and the entire leagues numbers in the coming days.

Final 2021 Sporting KC Salaries

First Name Last Name Position(s) Base Salary Guaranteed Compensation
First Name Last Name Position(s) Base Salary Guaranteed Compensation
Alan Pulido Izaguirre F $2,200,000.00 $2,200,000.00
Johnny Russell F $1,600,000.00 $1,600,000.00
Andreu Fontas D $1,125,000.00 $1,125,000.00
Nicolas Isimat-Mirin D $950,000.00 $1,028,124.00
Ilie Sanchez M $1,000,000.00 $1,000,000.00
Gadi Kinda M $850,000.00 $918,000.00
Graham Zusi D $650,000.00 $713,333.00
Jose Mauri M $660,000.00 $660,000.00
Khiry Shelton F $650,000.00 $650,000.00
Remi Walter M $650,000.00 $650,000.00
Roberto Puncec D $575,000.00 $575,000.00
Tim Melia GK $500,000.00 $504,167.00
Roger Espinoza M $500,000.00 $500,000.00
Daniel Salloi F $400,000.00 $456,667.00
Luis Martins D $340,000.00 $340,000.00
Amadou Dia D $135,000.00 $135,000.00
Tyler Freeman F $95,000.00 $97,500.00
Kendall McIntosh GK $96,375.00 $96,375.00
Jaylin Lindsey D $91,547.00 $94,547.00
Graham Smith D $85,444.00 $85,444.00
Cameron Duke M $81,375.00 $84,375.00
Felipe Hernandez M $81,375.00 $81,375.00
Wilson Harris F $67,360.00 $71,212.00
John Pulskamp GK $67,360.00 $69,860.00
Kayden Pierre D $63,547.00 $68,647.00
Grayson Banks Barber F $63,547.00 $67,297.00
Osvaldo Cisneros F $63,547.00 $66,547.00
Jacob Davis M $63,547.00 $63,547.00
Kaveh Rad D $63,547.00 $63,547.00
Brooks Thompson GK $63,547.00 $63,547.00