Toronto FC and the Los Angeles Galaxy are the big spenders in Major League Soccer this season, according to figures released Friday by the MLS Players Union.
In a league whose salary cap of US$3.49 million comes with a lot of loopholes, Toronto is spending $18,365,555 on designated players Sebastian Giovinco, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore.
The Galaxy has Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane, Giovani dos Santos and Omar Gonzalez on a combined $16,382,512 although the exact number will be lower given Gerrard and dos Santos arrived in mid-season.
Orlando City's Brazilian star Kaka tops the MLS salary list at US$7.167 million, just ahead of Giovinco at $7.115 million, Bradley at $6.5 million, Gerrard at $6.33 million and Frank Lampard of New York City FC at $6 million.
The rest of the top 10 are David Villa of New York City FC at $5.6 million, Altidore at $4.75 million, Clint Dempsey of the Seattle Sounders at $4.6 million, Keane at $4.5 million and dos Santos at $4.1 million.
Kaka, then on loan to Sao Paulo, topped the 2014 MLS list even though Orlando City had yet to play. His salary last September was also listed at $7.167 million.
Compare the MLS numbers to Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw ($30 million this season), Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant ($25 million in 2015-16), Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers ($22 million in 2015) and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby ($12 million last season)
Expansion New York City FC has also dug deep to acquire Villa, Lampard and newly acquired Italian veteran Andrea Pirlo ($2.315 million).
Pedro Morales is the highest-paid Vancouver Whitecap at $1.41 million while the top Montreal Impact players are Laurent Ciman ($401,666) and Ignacio Piatti ($400,000).
While MLS does have a salary cap, each team is allowed three designated players whose salary cap hit is restricted to $436,250 if the player is over the age of 23. Teams can also use allocation money to pay down any player's salary charge.
Twenty players in the league are listed as having salaries in excess of $1 million.
At the other end of Toronto's pay scale, five players make $60,000 a year while defender Clement Simonin is on $50,000. The French rookie's annual salary is less than one-quarter of what Giovinco makes a game ($209,281).
Of course, Giovinco is having an MVP year.
With a salary of $536,666, Kei Kamara of the Columbus Crew is one of the league's bargains. He tops the scoring chart with 13 goals this season.
Canadian international Will Johnson makes $334,333 with the Portland Timbers. Fellow Canadian Cyle Larin, a forward taken first overall in the 2015 SuperDraft by Orlando, is on $167,000.