Top 20 Highest Paid Players In The MLS 2022

The MLS Players Association released its annual salary information report on Monday, with the salaries of every player in the league revealed to the public. The list also revealed the highest paid players in the MLS.

The MLS has one of the highest players’ salary scales globally, along with major European soccer leagues like the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and Série A.

Although foreign players tend to earn higher salaries in the MLS, homegrown American soccer players are also ranked at the top of the most paid MLS players.

In 2022, newly-signed stars like Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Bernardeschi and Hector Herrera are among the top 20 best-paid players in the league — joining the likes of Javier ”Chicharito” Hernandez, Xherdan Shaqiri and Gonzalo Higuain.

Furthermore, with a total budget of $32.2m, Canadian side, Toronto FC, is by far the biggest-spending MLS team in terms of salary.

Their new recruits, Inisigne and Bernardeschi, alone make more than all but 3 MLS clubs.

The New York Red Bulls are the lowest spending club in the league at $9.6m — just a little over half of what Insigne alone makes in a season!!!

In this post, FootballOrbit presents you with the 20 highest paid players in the MLS.

This list is according to the players’ total guaranteed salary, which is often higher than their base salary because it includes pro-rated bonuses across the life of a contract.

1. Lorenzo Insigne

Lorenzo Insigne of Toronto FC

Club: Toronto FC
Salary: $14,000,000

Signed on a free transfer from Napoli this summer, Lorenzo Insigne is the highest paid player in the MLS — earning a guaranteed salary of $14 million.

Despite joining mid-season, the 31-year-old hit the ground running immediately and scored 6 goals and 2 assists in 12 games across all competitions for Toronto FC.

Nevertheless, his arrival was not enough for the Canadian club to reach the 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs.

2. Xherdan Shaqiri

Xherdan Shaqiri

Club: Chicago Fire
Salary: $8,153,000

Shaqiri moved to the MLS in February 2022 after a disappointing spell at Lyon in the Ligue 1. He signed for Chicago Fire, who paid a club-record $6.5m.

Although he didn’t quite deliver on the hype that surrounded his Stateside move, he scored 7 goals and provided 6 assists in 29 MLS regular season games.

Shaqiri’s contributions were not enough for Chicago Fire though, as the club missed out on the playoffs.

3. Javier Hernandez “Chicharito”

Chicharito is among the Top 20 Highest Paid Players In The MLS

Club: LA Galaxy
Salary: $7,442,750

Javier Hernandez “Chicharito” is a renowned name in Mexican soccer and European football. The Mexican striker played for Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, West Ham United and Sevilla.

He won the English Premier League, UEFA Europa League and the FIFA Club World Cup.

Hernandez has been one of the best and most recognisable names in the MLS — as well as Los Angeles Galaxy’s biggest star — since he arrived in 2020.

He is the 3rd highest paid player in the MLS, with an annual guaranteed salary of over $7.4m.

The Mexican star has been outstanding this year, scoring 19 goals and provided 3 assists in 38 games across all competitions.

4. Federico Bernardeschi

Club: Toronto FC
Salary: $6,256,322

Federico Bernardeschi won three consecutive Scudetti with Juventus between 2018 and 2020, as well as being part of Italy’s Euro 2020-winning squad.

He perhaps wasn’t getting as many chances as he wanted in Turin and moved to become one of the star names in MLS, signing for Toronto FC.

In 13 MLS matches, the Italian scored 8 goals and made 2 assists.

With the addition of Insigne and Bernardeschi, Toronto FC will be hoping for a big improvement on this season’s results in 2023.

5. Douglas Costa

Club: LA Galaxy
Salary: $5,800,000

Brazilian forward Douglas Costa earns $5.8m a season at LA Galaxy but is yet to show that he justifies the high investment placed in him by the club.

Costa starred for Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayern Munich and Juventus before moving to the MLS.

In 2022, he made 27 appearances, scored 4 goals and provided 1 assist.

6. Gonzalo Higuain

Club: Inter Miami
Salary: $5,793,750.00

Former Real Madrid, Napoli, Juventus, Chelsea and AC Milan forward Gonzalo Higuaín is one of the most prominent players in the MLS.

Higuaín won major trophies in Europe, including the Série A, La Liga, Copa del Rey and Coppa Italia.

The Argentine joined David Beckham-owned franchise, Inter Miami, in 2020.

This year, he made 28 apperances, netted 16 goals and gave 3 assists.

At the end of the season, Gonzalo Higuain announced his retirement from football.

7. Hector Herrera

Club: Houston Dynamo
Salary: $5,246,875

Former FC Porto and Athletico Madrid midfielder, Hector Herrera, joined Houston Dynamo in March as a Designated Player.

In the 2022 MLS season, Herrera made 10 appearances and contributed an assist.

A full Mexico international since 2012, Herrera won the Olympic gold medal in that year’s football tournament, and was part of Mexico’s winning team at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

He has represented his country at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup, the 2013 and 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, and the Copa América Centenario.

8. Alejandro Pozuelo

Club: Inter Miami
Salary: $4,693,000

Alejandro Pozuelo joined Toronto FC from Belgian First Division side, Genk, in 2019.

His deal with the club is worth $4.6m, which brings his name among the highest paid players in the MLS.

In July 2022, he joined Inter Miami.

Playing 28 MLS games in 2022, Pozuelo scored 6 goals and provided 9 assists.

9. Luiz Araujo

Club: Atlanta United
Salary: $4,480,333

Brazilian winger had just come off the back of winning the French Ligue 1 title with Lille when Atlanta United signed him in 2021, so he looked like a real coup.

But things have not gone well since his move to Georgia. Still just 26; Araujo’s peak years are probably ahead of him.

He played 28 matches, scored 4 goals and provided 5 assists in 2022.

10. Jozy Altidore

Jozy Altidore — top 20 Highest Paid Players In The MLS 2022

Club: New England Revolution
Salary: $4,264,963

Jozy Altidore scored just 3 goals in 52 games for English side Sunderland, which is extremely poor.

But since joining Toronto FC, he has ripped the MLS apart — scoring 72 goals in his first five seasons back in the league.

The American is one of the most consistent forwards in the league.

Furthermore, Altidore is one of the most successful American soccer players right now. He has won the MLS Cup, Canadian Championship, and 2 CONCACAF Gold Cups.

He joined New England Revolution in 2022 and played 17 matches but scored just a single goal.

On the 28th of July 2022, Jozy Altidore joined Mexican Liga MX side, Puebla, on a six-month loan.

11. Christian Benteke

Club: D.C. United
Salary: $4,182,778

Having played for the likes of Genk, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Crystal Palace; Christian Benteke joined D.C. United this summer.

D.C. United are being managed by Manchester United legend, Wayne Rooney.

Rooney handed Matai Akinmboni his debut in September, making him the 3rd youngest debutant in MLS history.

Joining the club in August, Benteke made 8 MLS appearances and scored a goal.

12. Josef Martinez

Josef Martinez is among the Top 20 Highest Paid Players In The MLS in 2022

Club: Atlanta United
Salary: $4,141,667

An absolute revelation when he first moved to the MLS; Venezuelan striker, Josef Martinez, was ridiculously prolific — plundering 88 goals in his first 100 games for Atlanta.

He helped the Five Stripes to the MLS Cup in just their second season and was named league MVP, All-Star Game MVP and MLS finals MVP.

The 29-year old holds the MLS record for career hat-tricks, with 6 in his first 44 games.

He has dropped off a little bit due to a serious knee injury in 2020, though, but managed to get 9 goals and 4 assists in 26 appearances in 2022.

13. Lucas Zelarayan

Club: Columbus Crew
Salary: $3,700,000

Lucas Zelarayan is a 30-year-old Argentina-born Armenian international.

A classic diminutive South American No.10 of the sort that so often seem to find success in MLS, Zelarayan moved to Columbus Crew from Mexican side Tigres UANL in 2020.

He’s more than pulled his weight since, helping the Crew to the MLS Cup in 2020, and winning the MLS Player of the Month award as recently as March 2022.

This year, he made 29 appearances, scored 10 goals and provided 7 assists to further underline his importance to the club.

14. Carles Gil

Club: New England Revolution
Salary: $3,545,833

After getting relegated in his only full season at Aston Villa, Carles Gil has been outstanding since moving to England Revolution New in 2019.

In his first season, he scored 10 goals and got 14 assists from an attacking midfield role.

After the best part of a year out with injury, he came back to help the Revs win the Supporters’ Shield in 2021 — achieving a record 73 points.

The 29-year-old signed a new contract in May 2021.

Carles Gil made 33 appearances, scored 7 goals and made 9 assists in 2022.

15. Rodolfo Pizarro

Club: Inter Miami
Salary: $3,350,000

Rodolfo Pizarro is another Mexican who leads the list of the MLS highest paid players. He is currently on contract with Inter Miami but on loan deal move to Mexican club, Monterrey.

He earns a guaranteed salary of $3.35m a season in the MLS.

16. Nico Lodeiro

Club: Seattle Sounders
Salary: $3,256,667

Marcelo Nicolás Lodeiro Benítez, commonly known as Nicolás Lodeiro, is an Uruguayan footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Seattle Sounders.

Lodeiro has played professionally in Uruguay, the Netherlands, Brazil, Argentina, and the United States.

He won the Eredivisie in both of his seasons at Ajax, and also won the domestic double in 2015 with Boca Juniors.

Furthermore, he won titles with Nacional and Botafogo, as well as the 2016 and 2019 MLS Cup with Seattle.

Since he made his international debut in 2009, Lodeiro has earned 60 caps for Uruguay.

He has taken part in two FIFA World Cups with the national side, as well as 4 editions of the Copa América, the 2012 Summer Olympics, and the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, in which Uruguay finished fourth.

In addition, he was also part of the Uruguayan side that finished 4th at the 2010 World Cup and won the 2011 Copa América.

In 2022, Nico Lodeiro made 28 MLS appearances, scored 7 goals and provided 7 assists.

17. Franco Jara

Club: FC Dallas
Salary: $3,227,000

Franco Jara joined FC Dallas in 2022. His current contract with the club is worth $3.27m — the club signed him under Designated Players transfer.

Jara scored 3 goals and made an assist in 30 matches in 2022.

18. Raul Ruidiaz

Club: Seattle Sounders
Salary: $3,201,120.00

Raul Ruidiaz joined Seattle Sounders in June 2018 and has scored 78 goals in 120 appearances for the club.

He set club records for being the fastest player to score 10 goals in the MLS (in 14 games) and scoring in the most consecutive appearances (8 games).

In November 2019, Ruidíaz scored Seattle’s final goal in a 3-1 win over Toronto FC in the MLS Cup final.

Furthermore, in the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League final, he scored two goals in a 3-0 win in the second leg against UNAM — in which his club secured their first ever title in the competition by winning 5-2 on aggregate.

In 18 MLS games in 2022, Ruidiaz registered 9 goals and 2 assists.

19. Victor Wanyama

Club: CF Montreal
Salary: $3,091,667

Victor Wanyama is one of the household names in the MLS. The Kenyan soccer player joined CF Montreal in 2020.

Wanyama played a big part in Montreal’s 2021 Canadian Championship final victory against Toronto FC.

Moreso, he is one of the most outstanding midfielders in the Major League Soccer.

Victor Wanyama has played for top clubs, including Celtic, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspurs.

In the 2022 MLS season, Wanyama made 33 appearances, scored 1 goal and provided 3 assists.

20. Cucho Hernandez

Club: Columbus Crew
Salary: $2,886,000

Columbian striker, Cucho Hernandez, joined Columbus Crew from Watford this summer for a club-record fee of $10 million.

After coming off the bench to score in his first three matches, Hernandez became the first player in MLS history to score 4 goals in under 90 minutes.

In total, Cucho Hernandez scored 9 goals and provided 2 assists in just 16 matches!

Leave a Reply