Pay the man! Major League Soccer's $200K-and-under all-star team
The annual MLS salary release gives every fan base a chance to pick apart its team salary-budget situation … and to complain about overpaid players. It also gives us a chance to see the best low-budget players in the league – and there is plenty of talent out there, all at varying levels of pay.
Here is our $200,000-And-Under All-Star Team this year.
GK: Joe Bendik, Orlando City - $174,083.40
The Orlando City goalkeeper has had a stellar start to the season after turning in a fantastic first year in Central Florida.
D: Joevin Jones, Seattle Sounders - $96,166.67
Jones may be considered the steal of MLS, and he’s is in a contract year and his number might be low because he is holding out for a free move to Europe.
D: Axel Sjoberg, Colorado Rapids - $123,350.00
It isn’t easy to find starting center backs on less than $200,000, and Sjoberg turned in an MLS Best XI last year for the Rapids. Injuries have hampered his 2017.
D: Ike Opara, Sporting Kansas City - $150,000.00
Opara might be the best all-around value for a defender in MLS. He looks like the Defender of the Year right now, and if he stays healthy he’s the steal of all steals.
D: Ronald Matarrita, NYCFC - $200,000.00
Probably the best left back in the league, a low number like this could make a sale to Europe even more profitable for NYCFC, if it happens. The figure is high for a fullback in MLS, but great value worldwide.
MF: Kekuta Manneh, Columbus Crew - $168,375.00
Another player in a contract year, Manneh could have his sights set on Europe. Whether he re-ups with Columbus is yet to be seen. For now, though, he’s a steal.
MF: Cristian Roldan, Seattle Sounders - $137,000.00
The young American midfielder continues to stand out for the defending MLS Cup champions, and he’s on a very cap-friendly number next to his highly-paid central midfield partner, Osvaldo Alonso.
MF: Artur, Columbus Crew - $99,879.00
There are loan fees involved here, so this may not be the most accurate picture, but this is a huge steal for a hugely talented player in Columbus.
MF: Jack Harrison, NYCFC - $165,500.00
If you’re a GM, you have to love those Generation Adidas contracts. There is still value that can be found in the draft.
F: Alphonso Davies, Vancouver Whitecaps - $65,000.00
The youngster may be one of the most exciting players in the league, and he’s on a supplementary roster number. You can’t ask for something much more friendly than that.
F: Cyle Larin, Orlando City - $192,000.00
No player deserves a raise more than Larin. If he doesn’t get a new deal soon, it will be because he’s headed overseas to the lush paychecks of Europe.
Tyler Adams, New York Red Bulls - $91,041.67
Brent Kallman, Minnesota United - $68,295.67
Brooks Lennon, Real Salt Lake - $53,004
Zac MacMath, Colorado Rapids - $150,000
Yamil Asad, Atlanta United - $150,000
Greg Garza, Atlanta United - $150,000
Matt Polster, Chicago Fire - $114,900
Rafael Ramos, Orlando City - $100,800
Brandon Vincent, Chicago Fire - $118,125
Patrick Mullins, D.C. United - $144,125
Cristian Higuita, Orlando City - $150,000
Fatai Alashae, San Jose Earthquakes - $98,175
Tim Parker, Vancouver Whitecaps - $80,850
Paul Tenorio is a reporter for FourFourTwo. Follow him on Twitter @PaulTenorio.