Major League Soccer

Why foreigners are the highest-paid players in MLS over the US players

Carlos Vela, Gonzalo Higuain and Javier Chicharito Hernandez are the Top 3 highest-paid footballers in the MLS and they are all foreigners.

Highest-paid players in MLS
Highest-paid players in MLS

Over the years, Major League Soccer (MLS) has always attracted many popular foreign stars who are eager to show their quality in the MLS. The likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Kaka and Wayne Rooney have played in the MLS in the past and been successful. The foreign players also earn a lot of money, most times been the highest-paid players at their club. Currently, foreign players are in the Top 5 of the highest-paid players in the MLS with no domestic player featuring in the Top 5 of the highest-paid players in the MLS.

Who are the highest-paid MLS players with their contracts?

For the 2021/22 season in the MLS, Carlos Vela of Los Angeles Football Club leads the way in terms of the contract with an earning of $6.3m. Followed after him is Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez who earns a guaranteed sum of $6m. Gonzalo Higuain is the third foreigner on the list of the highest-paid players in the MLS with an annual salary of $5.79m. These 3 best all other players in terms of the contract in the MLS.

Spanish midfielder, Alejandro Pozuelo is the 4th highest-paid player in the Major League Soccer with a guaranteed annual contract of $4.69m from Toronto FC. While Venezuelan striker, Josef Martinez makes up the Top 5 with an annual salary contract of $3.89m with Atlanta United. This means that all 5 highest-paid footballers in the MLS are all foreigners.

Why are there no homegrown US players on the highest-paid list for MLS?

It is a serious concern that no US-born or US-raised players feature on the list of the highest-paid player. This can be related to the lack of MLS clubs, or generally the US football industry, to make the MLS attractive for them. The training and development facilities make a strong case for US footballers to thrive and grow with the sports. 

The main problem of the MLS and not having the quality of the highest-paid players in the league is because most of its best players keep going to the European leagues. The likes of Christian Pulisic, Alphonso Davies, Weston McKennie, Giovanni Reyna, Zack Steffen are all the players who have their roots in the MLS. Thus, for the MLS to have US players in the highest-paid pool, then they must retain their best, young stars.

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