MLS Player Salaries: How much do they make in 2022?

MLS Player Salaries In 2022

How much do MLS players make?

I can say it’s a no-brainer that MLS stands for Major League Soccer and is the acronym for club football in the United States. The game of soccer has become very lucrative over the years and the MLS refused to be left out. It comes as no surprise that they’ve attracted some of the best players in Europe over the years. 

The likes of David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Frank Lampard, Carlos Vela, amongst others have played Major League Soccer football and there is no gainsaying that acquiring their talents attracted huge funds. 

Therefore, the question of how much do MLS players make is a legitimate one and the answer would help soccer fans in the US know how lucrative the competition is.

Questions like; what is the average salary of an MLS player? How much do MLS players make in a week? The average MLS salary in 2022? amongst others, are begging to be answered and we’ll do justice to them in this article.

MLS Player Salaries in 2022

The MLS has been established as a reputable soccer league in recent years and the question of how much salaries the players in the league earn remains one that cannot be answered with absolute exactness.

Before we proceed, it’s good to know that various factors determine the salaries of MLS soccer players and the same applies to other soccer leagues in the world.

Factors like how skilled a player is; the skillset he possesses will surely impact his salary. For instance, the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo would always earn more than their peers in their position as they are the best of the best in that regard. The same applies to MLS player salaries.

Another factor that would impact how much salary an MLS player makes is his impact on the team and the league in general. 

The superb performances of some players in some competitions normally bring the competition to the limelight and make the player a very sought-after entity. We’ve seen cases where leagues want a player to stay put, such as the case of Lionel Messi with Barcelona in the Spanish La Liga.

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How key he is to the club he plays for would also impact his salary regardless of whether he is a defender, midfielder, or attacker. Some players are just major mainstays and the club must keep them happy financially to earn their total commitment and also wrestle them from the grasps of opponents who may have eyes on them.

A good number of players also offer significant commercial value. Their presence in a team attracts fans, sponsorship, and the likes. We’ve seen cases where players make moves to a club and they end up generating record sales of jerseys in very short periods. A player like Cristiano Ronaldo is in this league and would surely earn more than his contemporaries in the same team.

Finally, some clubs are very prestigious and are the supposed big boys in a league. Therefore, their players earn more than other teammates in other clubs and the same is applicable in Major League Soccer.

This is another major factor that would impact how much an MLS player makes in a season. Clubs like Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid amongst others can attest to this albeit for the COVID-19 induced financial difficulties in recent times.

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Average MLS Player Salary in 2022

Meanwhile, it can be recalled that the MLS and the MLS Players’ Association agreed on a new bargaining system last February and it would be in effect until 2027. Meanwhile, the salary cap for any MLS is $4.9 million and it has been imposed on all 27 clubs in the league for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

It would also see an incremental increase to $7 million by 2027. This is the stipulated amount that MLS clubs can spend on MLS player salaries for all 20 players that make the senior team rosters during a single season.

Regardless, there is some flexibility as MLS clubs have the option to use only 18 players on the roster, thus allowing them to spend the whole salary cap on 18 players. Therefore, $612,500 is the amount that a non-designated MLS player can earn in one season.

The terms of the collective bargaining agreement state that the full budget allocated to each MLS team for the 2021 and 2022 seasons is $9,225,000. The amount will increase yearly to $13.01m by 2027

The Highest Paid MLS players

The question on how much do MLS players make is as good as answered. Another question is who are the highest paid MLS players per week and highest paid MLS players currently? The MLS highest paid players 2021 are:

Carlos Vela – Los Angeles FC

Reports suggest that the Mexican earns about $6.3m yearly and is the highest-paid player in the MLS. 

Javier Hernandez – LA Galaxy

Hernandez is the second Mexican on the list and earns $6million per year. He is also very prolific and this means that would have his bonuses.


Gonzalo Higuain – Inter Miami

Higuain has established himself as a veteran in the game having played for the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus, Napoli, and Chelsea. He is one of the best strikers in the MLS and earns $5.79 million per year.

The aforementioned stars are the highest paid MLS players per week and the highest paid MLS player salaries in 2022.