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Comparing Payroll Figures for Chivas USA, and Seeing Who Got Paid

HARRISON, NJ - MAY 23:  DK got paid, and he's worth every penny. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
HARRISON, NJ - MAY 23: DK got paid, and he's worth every penny. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
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On Friday, the MLS Players Union released the 2012 salary figures for all MLS players. We provided those figures, and promised to write more about them. Here's one angle: below, I've compared the May 2011 and May 2012 total payrolls for Chivas USA. Under Robin Fraser, the Goats have increased spending, and at first glance it looks like the team is spending more money than in 2011, but the difference is ultimately pretty similar.

In addition, the comparison of players who were on the payroll in May 2011 and are on the latest payroll list is quite interesting, and that's my second angle. Only eight players survived since the first half of the 2011 season, and the figures, and changes, vary widely.

Here is the comparison between May 2011 and May 2012 for Chivas' total payroll.

May 2011 salary information (27 players):

Base salary total: $2,482,610 (average: $91.948.52)

Guaranteed salary total: $2,691,177.80 (average: $99,673.25)

May 2012 salary information (28 players):

Base salary total: $2,614,728.04 (average: $93,383.14)

Guaranteed salary total: $3,229,054.18 (average: $115,323.36)

As you can see, base salary between May 2011 and May 2012 are pretty similar, but Chivas are paying significantly more ($537,876.38 to be exact) in guaranteed salary this time around. The biggest contributor to this is Chivas' highest paid player, Juan Pablo Angel, who is making $600,000 in guaranteed salary this season.

One interesting point of comparison is looking at the salary differences for players on the roster since last season. Although a few players joined after the May 2011 figures were released and were included on the September 2011 figures, we'll just look at the players on the roster in May 2011.

Name May 2011 Guaranteed Compensation
May 2012 Guaranteed Compensation Difference
Tristan Bowen $106,363.63 $131,363.63 $25,000
Blair Gavin $74,000 $80,000 $6,000
Ante Jazic $123,500 $117,500 - $6,000
Dan Kennedy $62,496 $175,000 $112,504
Nick LaBrocca $87,200 $97,788 $10,588
Alejandro Moreno $182,000 $195,000 $13,000
Jorge Villafana $61,666.67 $67,666.67 $6,000
Ben Zemanski $44,000 $60,190 $16,190

As you would likely expect, of the eight returning players on the roster nearly all of them got a raise. Jazic was the exception, but it was announced when he was re-signed in the offseason that he was taking a pay cut, presumably because of his age (he is 36). And the pay cut he took offset the raise given to either Gavin or Villafana, each of whom received a $6,000 increase.

The other five increases are quite interesting as well. It seems justified that four of the five deserve a raise, but the figures vary widely. I've been pretty public with my feelings about Moreno - he provides leadership and does well to draw fouls but seems to be a limited player at this point in his career. Despite that, he is one of the longest serving MLS veterans, playing nonstop in the league since 2002, so his seniority probably helps account for the seven percent raise.

Zemanski's raise is also notable, as he got the third largest increase among returning players. He is an affordable player, even now at just over $60,000, and while he hasn't bolted down a starting spot yet, Fraser seems to like him and he is unquestionably the most versatile player on the squad.

LaBrocca's increase is no surprise, considering how affordable he was last season when he became an All Star. What is a bit surprising is that he continues to be a rather affordable player by MLS standards, as he still doesn't make $100,000. It doesn't seem as though he's an All Star level again this season, although he's still played well, so perhaps he can expect a steady increase next offseason as well.

The big winner of the group is of course Kennedy. DK was one of the best goalkeepers in the league last season, and was one of, if not the best value for his position in 2011. The man deserved a raise, and the front office came through in a big way, increasing his salary more than 275 percent. As the team's most valuable player in 2011, it was obvious Kennedy needed to be paid, and he was. I assume he's picking up the check on the road more often than not.

Finally, we have Bowen, whose salary also increased a healthy margin. Although it can be assumed some, if not all of his salary has been covered by his loan club, KSV Roeselare, while he was playing for them, he looks like a poor value for MLS. Again, he was away on loan, so it's not as though he wasn't playing at all, but the forward has played a total of 60 minutes for Chivas. As the eighth highest-paid player on the roster, who played the least number of minutes of anybody who saw first team action in 2011, Bowen is unquestionably the worst value at this point in the season. If Chivas decide to incorporate him back into the team once he's eligible to feature again, then he could prove useful. But at this point, he seems to be the biggest problem on the payroll, beating even Laurent Courtois (who although getting paid a lot relative to his impact, is at least playing a decent amount). Obviously, if Chivas can sell or trade Bowen this year, assuming they get decent value for him, then his worth will become a moot point.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!