Ah, the eternal MLS salary dump. That time-honored tradition wherein we marvel at Kaka’s deal, puzzle over Brek Shea’s and try to work out how FC Dallas squeezes so much out of so little while D.C. United pulls so little out of… so little.
Everyone sees these numbers through their own kaleidoscopic lenses, and mine tends to skew toward the youths. And in particular, the Homegrowns. Just what are these young bucks getting paid these days? Today, I have answers.
In February, MLS announced a $200,000 cash infusion for MLS teams in part to help sign Homegrown players. It wasn’t exactly a cash dump, but it did represent a not insignificant hike that allowed MLS teams more leeway in how they approached contract negotiations with their own academy kids. Homegrowns will make less regardless by dint of their lack of professional gravitas, and the historic feebleness of the American youth production line also hits the contract. Ajax doles out heftier contracts to its youth players not only because they have the cash to do so, but because the academy’s success ups its player market value. MLS isn’t quite there yet.