After a one-year hiatus, MLS All-Budget Eleven is back.
Every year, when the MLS Players Association salary dump comes out, we look at the data to see which players are performing well above their salary figures.
For the past few years, the minimum amount for this exercise has been $200,000, and anyone listed as earning more than that in their “guaranteed compensation” was ineligible. However, he raised the cap to $260,000 as salaries increased over the past two years. In total, 413 out of 869 qualified, or 47.5%. We also excluded players whose annual salaries fell below this threshold, but who actually paid high transfer fees to increase costs and cap amounts. Portland’s Juan David Mosquera ($1.9 million) and Orlando City’s Cesar Araujo ($2 million) are good examples. Some players, like Columbus’ Aidan Morris, have recently signed new deals that aren’t reflected in this salary announcement.
Certainly, there are other types of “budget” players. Jeremy Ebovis, who scored 17 goals last year, could argue he’s worth a lot on a deal under $1 million. In the MLS, however, DP is capped at just $651,250, so while Evo-Visse is certainly saving on ownership, that cap is no different than a striker who makes millions of dollars a year. As such, we tried to focus on very low-salary players who deliver value without running out of budget. This basically frees up space to spend on players elsewhere on the cap.
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Several players who have appeared on this list over the past few years have had paydays later. That list includes LAFC center back Aaron Long, NYCFC midfielder James Sands, San Jose winger Cade Cowell, Chicago Fire forward Chris Muller and Seattle Sounders defender Nouho Toro. It is included. Alumni moving abroad include Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies, Manchester City’s Zach Steffen, RB Leipzig’s Kayden Clarke, Venice’s Gianluca Busio, Arminia Bielefeld’s George Bello and West Brom’s Including Daryl Dyke.
There are more homegrown players on the list this year, including several who are set to make transfers in the near future. Let’s take a look at this year’s 11th Budget.
Goalkeeper: Chris Brady, Chicago Fire — $213,246
The Fire have sold home goalkeeper Gaga Slonina to Chelsea for $10 million and replaced it with another home goalkeeper. Brady made a few mistakes early in the season, which is common for a 19-year-old starter, but has paid off across the net and is currently second in MLS in goals added. there is According to American Soccer Analysis. He was good enough that the Fire refused to release him to the FIFA U-20 World Cup and kept him at his home in an attempt to reach the playoffs.
Left rear: Caleb Wiley, Atlanta United — $87,044
One of the breakout stars of the 2023 season, Wiley has so far made an impression as both a left-back and winger for Atlanta United. The native has scored three goals and provided two assists in 884 minutes so far this year, so it wouldn’t be surprising to hear of legitimate interest in him early this summer. Atlanta had already turned down a transfer offer for Wiley last year. He will play for the US U-20 team at the upcoming World Cup and has already earned the USMNT’s first senior cap.
Center back: Henry Kessler, The New England Revolution — $220,000
The 24-year-old has been a consistent and reliable starter for New England since being selected sixth overall in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. Kessler has been a far cry from the USMNT image so far — he’s been called up to the 2021 Gold Cup and has two caps — and this year, he’s been a go-to starter for the Blues Arena. continues to prove The Revs team is currently at the top of the Supporters Shield standings. Kessler ranks among the top 20 goals added in MLS this year, according to American Soccer Analysis.
Center back: Jackson Reigen, Seattle Sounders — $85,444
Lagen has one of the most interesting paths to becoming an MLS starter. He spent his youth career playing in the Sounders’ academy before signing a contract to play college football at the University of Michigan. Seattle declined to sign him out of college, and the Chicago Fire drafted Regen, but Regen chose to stay in school and play his senior season. After that season, he played for the USL’s Tacoma Defiance, before Seattle acquired the MLS rights in a trade and signed him last season. Reigen started 14 games last season and has started all 12 games this season for the Sounders, who currently lead the Western Conference standings. Ragen offers him an incredibly valuable amount of time for less than $100,000.
Right rear: Mo Farsi, Columbus Crew — $74,735
When Wilfried Nancy arrived at Columbus, he immediately gave his roster a chance. One player who made the most of the opportunity was Mo Farsi, who originally signed for Crew’s second team and led the club to an MLS Next Pro title last year. He has started at right wing-back in all 11 league games for the club until the start of 2023. In addition to Farsi’s three assists, he is fourth among MLS defenders in XA (1.74) and tied for second in chances created (26).
Defensive Midfielder: Jose Martinez, Philadelphia Union — $301,250
Yes, we made an exception to the budget cap here, but considering Martinez is rated as one of the best players in his position and no player below him adds the same value in the same position. I think it’s perfectly justified. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding players who make the most of their budget and are truly all-budget teams, and no one would argue that Martinez is such a bargain at this number. I think.
Midfielder: Brian Gutierrez, Chicago Fire — $240,004
The midfielder, known in Chicago as “Guti,” is a prime example of the growth potential of a homegrown player. Signed at the age of 16 in 2020, he saw very limited first-team appearances during the COVID-19-affected season, but jumped to 595 minutes in 2021, and last season saw a jump to 595 minutes. He tripled his playing time and grew into a fruitful starter. . Gutierrez has been asked to be more productive in the final third this year and has so far provided four assists, more than half of last year’s seven. If that trajectory continues, Guti could be the next player to be sold from Chicago after selling Slonina and John Duran this offseason.
Midfielder: Jack McGlynn, Philadelphia Union — $186,533
Another in a long line of Union homegrown players entering the first team, McGlynn has secured a starting spot in the competitive Union midfield. The 19-year-old has a very special left foot that could take him to the highest level and he is already one of the club’s best distributors. He has participated in Argentina with the United States in the U-20 World Cup and is expected to be a main starter within the group.
Forward: Jacob Schaffelberg, Nashville SC — $195,000
Schaffelberg blended seamlessly into the Nashville group, thumping in transition and being an aspiring runner led by superstar Hany Mouffetard. The former Toronto FC homegrown player was loaned to Nashville last summer and acquired on a permanent transfer in the offseason. Already this year his three goals are tying his career best in a single season so far.
Forward: Duncan McGuire, Orlando City — $77,360
MAC Harman Trophy winner and NCAA Golden Boot winner as Collegiate Male Soccer Player of the Year, Duncan McGuire is doing his job scoring goals in the MLS. Orlando City selected McGuire sixth overall in the SuperDraft, and the former Clayton star has already scored a team-high four goals in just 284 minutes. Orlando has had a successful SuperDraft, having been drafted by Daryl Dyke before he developed into a striker for the United States and moved to West Brom, before being a star for the Canadian national team and currently scoring in Spain. Nominate Syle Larin. McGuire appears to have had another draft success.
Forward: Kwadwo Opok, LAFC — $257,288
LAFC added superstars Gareth Bale and DP Dennis Buanga to an offense that already had Carlos Vela and Chicho Arango, but Kwadwo Opoku was replaced in the regular season as the team won the MLS Cup last season. I found an opportunity to play in every game. The 21-year-old Livewire winger has started 20 of 34 games and has seven goals and two assists. It’s been much the same in LAFC’s restart this year, with Opoku making all 10 appearances for the club, starting eight of them.
Goalkeeper: Luis Barraza, New York City FC – $152,688. Roman Celentano, CIN – $112,500. George Marks, CLT — $68,775. John McCarthy, LAFC — $121,667. Patrick Schulte, CLB — $103,178
Defender: Kyle Hebert, STL — $85,444; Zach McGraw, POR — $151,875. Jalen Neal, Los Angeles — $138,625. Will Sands, CLB – $91,000. Nkosi Tafari, FCD — $240,750. DJ Taylor, Minnesota — $98,261
Midfielder: Ali Ahmed, VAN — $94,819. Ben Bender, CLT — $105,444. Noel Buck, Nebraska — $67,360. Bryce Duke, MTL — $150,000. Jasper Roffelsend, RSL — $96,600. Dani Pereira, ATX — $118,414. Owen Wolf, ATX — $113,053
forward: Simon Becher, VAN — $70,485. Kay Camara, Chile — $231,000.Jared Stroud, STL — $103,200
(Top photo: Eakin Howard/Getty Images, Graham Stokes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Design: Eamonn Dalton)