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MLS Players Association releases 2018 player salaries

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Which Crew SC players provide the best value for their pay?

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Major League Soccer Players Association released its report of player salaries earlier this afternoon.

After an offseason full of player movement this list provides us with a look into what value Columbus Crew SC is getting from its players.

Here’s a list of Crew SC’s player salaries:

2018 Columbus Crew SC Salaries

First Name Last Name Team Position Base Salary Total Compensation
First Name Last Name Team Position Base Salary Total Compensation
Harrison Afful Columbus Crew D $288,099.96 $335,599.96
Lalas Abubakar Columbus Crew D $68,250.04 $75,750.04
Mohammed Abu Columbus Crew M $175,008.00 $181,258.00
Luis Argudo Columbus Crew M $54,500.04 $54,500.04
Ricardo Clark Columbus Crew M $125,000.04 $125,000.04
Artur de Lima Columbus Crew M $210,000.00 $210,000.00
Alex Crognale Columbus Crew D $95,004.00 $95,004.00
Niko Hansen Columbus Crew F $68,250.04 $75,750.04
Mike Grella Columbus Crew F $195,300.00 $197,550.00
Federico Higuain Columbus Crew M $1,100,000.04 $1,100,000.04
Logan Ketterer Columbus Crew GK $67,500.00 $67,500.00
Jonathan Kempin Columbus Crew GK $80,256.00 $80,256.00
Hector Jimenez Columbus Crew M $159,996.00 $159,996.00
Adam Jahn Columbus Crew F $97,500.00 $97,500.00
Ben Lundgaard Columbus Crew GK $54,500.04 $54,500.04
Cristian Martinez Columbus Crew M $68,915.07 $73,415.07
Connor Maloney Columbus Crew D $55,654.20 $55,654.20
Jonathan Mensah Columbus Crew D $774,996.00 $868,996.00
Edward Opoku Columbus Crew F $75,000.00 $96,000.00
Pedro Santos Columbus Crew M $747,600.00 $794,600.00
Gaston Sauro Columbus Crew D $213,750.00 $213,750.00
Zack Steffen Columbus Crew GK $145,000.00 $145,000.00
Eduardo Sosa Columbus Crew M $99,999.96 $120,199.96
Milton Valenzuela Columbus Crew D $282,000.00 $313,300.00
Wil Trapp Columbus Crew M $500,004.00 $550,004.00
Gyasi Zardes Columbus Crew F $630,000.00 $630,000.00
Joshua Williams Columbus Crew D $200,000.04 $200,000.04

The best value players for Columbus have certainly been Cristian Martinez and Lalas Abubakar. Both players are still on low-cost deals with Abubakar earning $75,750.04 and Martinez at $73,415.07 this year. Abubakar has started in eight matches this season, and has improved on an impressive rookie season, having already made two MLS Team of the Week appearances on this young season. In Martinez’s 10 appearances this year, he has tallied two assists and was heavily responsible for Gyasi Zardes’ game-winner against the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday.

Starting lineup debutante Luis Argudo has already played in five matches and has a rookie deal of $54,500.04. Head coach Gregg Berhalter has indicated that he likes what the third-round pick is giving the team, playing in a number of positions in the midfield.

Sticking with the new additions, winger Mike Grella will make $197,550 this season. Winger Justin Meram earned $328,750 with the Black & Gold last season and has been bumped up to $578,758 for Orlando City this season, so the total pay of his potential replacements is much lower than his individual salary.

Zardes will be paid $630,000 this season, which is a step up from Ola Kamara’s salary of $482,500 for last season. Kamara recently signed a new deal with the LA Galaxy, taking his total compensation to $925,000 for this season. So far, it looks like Crew SC has gotten the best value out of this deal.

Milton Valenzuela’s salary gives us a look into how MLS wraps transfer and loan fees into salary cap charges. Valenzuela, arguably the best left back in this early MLS season, has a salary of $313,300 for this season. The loan fee that Crew SC is paying for his services is added to his budget charge and pushed the Argentine over the Designated Player threshold. So far, Valenzuela has certainly outplayed his cap hit of $150,000 as a Young Designated Player. With the the DP tag, Crew SC bought down Jonathan Mensah’s salary with TAM. That’s confusing, but Berhalter, the sporting director as well as head coach, is saving the team some budget space with the maneuvering.

Re-signed center back Gaston Sauro took a big pay cut to stay in Columbus after missing more than a year with complications from a knee injury, agreeing to a salary of $213,750 for this season. During his injured 2017 season, Sauro earned $601,312.50.

A few returning players are playing with big raises this season. After his offseason purchase by Crew SC, Artur — who was on loan last year — saw his salary jump from $99,879 in 2017 to $210,000 in 2018. Captain Wil Trapp got a big pay increase this year, going from $350,000 in 2017 to $550,004 in 2018.

Last season DP signing Pedro Santos and Jonathan Mensah will earn $794,600 and $868,996 respectively. Jonathan’s budget charge was bought down using TAM, so he is no longer a DP.

Federico Higuain remains Columbus’ only million-dollar-man, taking home $1,100,000.04. Pipa signed a one-year deal towards the end of last season and has already extended for the 2019 season.

Around the league, Sebastian Giovinco takes over the top earning spot after the departure of Kaka. Giovinco will make $7,115,555.67 in 2018. The rest of the top six are Michael Bradley, newcomer Carlos Vela, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Giovanni dos Santos, and David Villa.

Notable new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic will earn $1,500,000 with the Galaxy this season.