1) Show Me the Money
In case you were wondering, here are the top salaries in the league. These numbers only count guaranteed money, so no bonuses etc. Also, no Frank Lampard, and somehow David Villa’s listed salary is $60,000. So, while these numbers are a bit suspect, they are still of interest.
Kaka, Orlando City: $7.17 million
Clint Dempsey, Seattle Sounders: $6.7 million
Michael Bradley, Toronto FC: $6.5 million
Jermain Defoe, Toronto FC: $6.18 million
Landon Donovan, Los Angeles Galaxy: $4.58 million
Thierry Henry, New York Red Bulls: $4.35 million
Robbie Keane, Los Angeles Galaxy: $4.5 million
Tim Cahill, New York Red Bulls: $3.63 million
Jermaine Jones, New England Revolution: $3.25 million
Marco Di Vaio, Montreal Impact: $2.6 million
Obafemi Martins, Seattle Sounders: $1.75 million
Pedro Morales, Vancouver Whitecaps: $1.41 million
Omar Gonzalez, Los Angeles Galaxy: $1.25 million
Gilberto, Toronto FC: $1.21 million
Liam Ridgewell, Portland Timbers: $1.2 million
2) League Sets Sellout Record
And it’s a good thing too, hey someone has to pay those salaries.
Saturday night’s 3-2 Toronto victory over visiting Portland not only kept TFC in the playoff race while damaging Portland’s hopes, the full house allowed the league to set a new single-season sellout record.
The crowd of 22,591 at BMO Field was the 113th sellout of an MLS game this season, eclipsing the mark of 112 established in 2012, and equaled in 2013.
3) Timbers Lose Lead, Match, and Will Johnson
Saturday’s TFC win had big implications for both clubs, with Portland falling back behind Vancouver in the Western Conference, and out of playoff position, while TFC pulled within a single point of fifth place New York in the East.
Portland will regret coughing up a two goal lead in such an important match, but perhaps more crucial to the Timbers postseason push is the loss of Will Johnson.
The hard working midfielder went off in the opening seconds of the Toronto match, with what turned out to be a broken leg. Of course, Johnson will be out for the rest of the season, a loss Caleb Porter’s side can ill afford.
4) Sacramento Win USL PRO – Are They MLS Ready?
Sacramento Republic FC has been actively pushing for a place in Major League Soccer for the past year, and it did its cause no harm in setting USL PRO box office records in this, their inaugural season. Saturday night the club added the league championship to its MLS portfolio.
In front of a sellout crowd of 8,000, Republic FC defeated The Harrisburg City Islanders 2-0 to bring the title to the California state capitol. Sacramento are coached by former U.S. international and ex- MLS coach Preki, partially owned by Kevin Nagle, an owner of the Sacramento Kings, the cities NBA franchise, and are stoutly backed by Mayor Kevin Johnson.
Will Sacramento land an MLS franchise? They have ticked all the right boxes so far, and it may turn out to be more a case of when, rather than if.
5) And What About Chivas USA?
Well, according to a report by Jeff Carlisle of ESPN, there may be an end in sight to what has been an awkward situation for the league.
According to the report, the league has found a buyer willing to pay approximately $100 million to take the team off of the league’s hands. MLS has been running the troubled franchise since buying out the previous owners last February.
The club would be expected to stay in the Los Angeles area, a firm condition of Commissioner Don Garber’s from the start.
The ESPN piece also says that the franchise would take at least a two year hiatus while a new stadium is built. MLS has confirmed that the site of the L.A. Sports Arena is a potential target for a new stadium. The team would be renamed and rebranded during the break.
As Chivas temporarily steps aside, New York FC and Orlando SC are coming on board. MLS would play with 20 teams in 2015, and with the two East coast cities joining the league, realignment would be necessary. Houston and, or Kansas City, are the most likely franchises to be moved to the Western conference.