Analysis

Pay the man! Major League Soccer's $200K-and-under all-star team

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

You've seen all the MLS salaries for 2017. Let us tell you about the best bargains in the league.

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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.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

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.

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Bench

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

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Paul Tenorio is a reporter for FourFourTwo. Follow him on Twitter @PaulTenorio.