Worst in their respective conferences, Toronto FC and the Los Angeles Galaxy lead Major League Soccer in million-dollar-plus salaries.
Toronto captain Torsten Frings is the highest-paid MLS player in Canada with a salary of US$2,413,666 this season.
Canadian midfielder Julian de Guzman and Dutch striker Danny Koevermans, Toronto’s other designated players, rank second and third in Canada, according to MLS Players Union figures.
De Guzman makes $1,910,746 and Koevermans $1,563,323.
The three Toronto players make up one-third of the league’s million-dollar-plus earners. Frings’ salary is the fifth-highest in the league, de Guzman’s seventh and Koevermans’ eighth.
Despite the hefty investment in the trio, Toronto (0-9-0) has yet to register a point in league play this season and languishes in 10th place in the East.
To be fair, both Frings and Koevermans have missed games through injury this season.
At the New York Red Bulls, French forward Thierry Henry tops all MLS players at $5.6 million while Mexican defender-midfielder Rafael Marquez earns $4.6 million.
The Red Bulls (8-3-2) lead the East with Henry potting nine goals in nine games before injuring a hamstring.
Former England captain David Beckham’s salary in Los Angeles (3-7-2 in ninth place in the West) is listed at $4 million. Galaxy teammates Robbie Keane ($3,417,242) and Landon Donovan ($2.4 million) also do well with their pay slips.
Portland forward Kris Boyd makes $1,515,000 to round out the league’s nine million-plus salaries.
Canadian star forward Dwayne De Rosario, last year’s league MVP, earns $663,190 at D.C. United. That ranks him 13th in the league.
French forward Eric Hassli leads the Vancouver Whitecaps at $790,000.
Captain Davy Arnaud is the highest-paid member of the Montreal Impact at $290,000. But that may change with the signing of designated player Marco Di Vaio, set to join the team when the transfer window reopens on June 27.
Toronto FC bargains include Serbian goalkeeper Milos Kocic ($44,100), Bermudian forward Reggie Lambe ($62,500) and Jamaican forward Ryan Johnson ($137,813).
Frings’ salary would rank 12th among Maple Leafs, according to the NHLPA, and 13th among Blue Jays, according to USA Today.
It would rank 319th in Major League Baseball, between Oakland’s Seth Smith ($2,415,000) and Cincinnati’s Nick Masset ($2,400,000).
English fullback Richard Eckersley ($390,000) and Chilean defender Miguel Aceval ($199,086) round out the Toronto top five earners.
Captain Jay DeMerit ($350,000) ranks second in Vancouver, followed by Swiss midfielder Davide Chiumiento ($300,000), Argentine defender Martin Bonjour ($276,987) and Brazilian forward Camilo ($237,500).
Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts ($275,000) is second on the Montreal salary scale, ahead of Italian forward Bernardo Corradi ($265,000), American midfielder Justin Mapp ($218,333) and American rookie forward Andrew Wenger ($202,000).
Other Canadians in the league include Real Salt Lake midfielder Will Johnson ($243,750), D.C. United defender Dejan Jakovic ($228,043), Houston defender Andrew Hainault ($163,125) and Chivas USA defender Ante Jazic ($117,000).
The MLS Players Union says the salary figures include compensation from each player’s contract with MLS. They do not include any compensation from any contracts with individual teams or their affiliates.
Teams can also use allocation money to “buy down” a player’s salary charge.