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Quakes Player Salaries Analysis

We finally get a look behind the curtain of the San Jose Earthquakes as MLS rapidly expands and Dominic Kinnear continues his makeover of the dreadful 2014 roster.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The MLS Players Union has released its semi-annual survey of players salaries, offering a rare window into the sometimes-murky details of roster management in the league. I've long been an obsessive observer of this side of the game and cover the Quakes front office closely, so I figured I would include what I found interesting in the reported details

I also maintain a publicly-available Google Sheet with as many details relevant to the player's contracts and their cap hits as I can (and which has been updated with the latest information). It can be viewed here.

Here are my major takeaways from this announcement:

  • While most players have modest salary increases built into their contracts, there were two new deals signed that gave out (expected) major pay rises: Quincy Amarikwa (+161%) and Cordell Cato (+90.3%).
  • I was not expecting, however, to see Shaun Francis's salary jump up 64% despite the club not announcing any new contract.
  • There were also a few players who accepted pay cuts to get a new deal, including Jordan Stewart (-33%) and Kofi Sarkodie (-73.6%), with the latter accepting a minimum contract after his rich Houston deal expired.
  • Simon Dawkins's Designated Player contract is a middle-of-the-road $800k/year, making him the second highest-paid Earthquake behind Innocent Emeghara ($1.3M).
  • The new-to-MLS acquisitions, whose salary data has never been public, appear to be two astute pieces of business: Alberto Quintero ($190k) and Andres Imperiale ($87k)
  • Based on sources in the front office and the MLS Roster Rules, I believe that Chris Wondolowski had his Designated Player contract bought down with Targeted Allocation Money down to the minimum $150k cap-hit.
  • Steven Lenhart (injured reserve), Sanna Nyassi (released), Leandro Barrera (loan), Tommy Thompson (Homegrown), and Andrew Tarbell (Generation Adidas) should not affect the cap.
  • However, even with these factors accounted for, the club sits almost a half-million dollars above the salary cap. That discrepancy can be bought down with General Allocation Money or Targeted Allocation Money, but for various reasons we can rule out the latter. It would surprise me if there was enough GAM to cover that gap, but clearly the team is doing something to be compliant.
  • In terms of overall spend, this puts the Quakes at $6.4M, a humongous leap on their $5M salary a year ago, without factoring in transfer allocations. That ranks the club 11th out of the 20 MLS clubs in salary spending (h/t to this post on reddit)
Here is a table of the complete list:
Player Position 2016 Compensation 2016 Cap Hit (Est)
Matias Perez-Garcia CAM $250,000.00 $457,500.00
Innoccent Emeghara FW $1,300,000.00 $457,500.00
Simon Dawkins LM $800,000.00 $457,500.00
Clarence Goodson CB $342,000.00 $342,000.00
Quincy Amarikwa ST $260,666.67 $260,666.67
Victor Bernardez CB $251,600.00 $251,600.00
Anibal Godoy CDM $242,250.00 $242,250.00
Marvell Wynne RB $224,375.00 $224,375.00
Alberto Quintero LM $190,717.00 $190,717.00
Shea Salinas LM $166,458.33 $166,458.33
David Bingham GK $137,750.00 $152,750.00
Chris Wondolowski ST $700,000.00 $150,000.00
Cordell Cato RW $114,166.67 $114,166.67
Shaun Francis LB $103,333.33 $103,333.33
Jordan Stewart LB $100,000.00 $100,000.00
Chad Barrett ST $95,500.00 $95,500.00
Fatai Alashe CDM $90,500.00 $90,500.00
Andres Imperiale CB $87,500.00 $87,500.00
Marc Pelosi CM $84,500.00 $84,500.00
Adam Jahn ST $67,500.00 $67,500.00
Mark Sherrod ST $63,000.00 $63,000.00
Bryan Meredith GK $63,000.00 $63,000.00
Kofi Sarkodie RB $62,500.00 $62,500.00
Matheus Silva CB $52,500.00 $52,500.00
Kip Colvey RB $51,499.92 $51,500.00
Leandro Barrera LM $75,000.00 $0.00
Tommy Thompson CAM $155,000.00 $0.00
Andrew Tarbell GK $84,000.00 $0.00
Steven Lenhart ST $179,083.33 $0.00