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MLS to pay close to $4.5Million to Ghanaians in the league; Mensah and Accam are this season’s top Ghanaian earners


About 17 known Ghanaians in the Major League Soccer (MLS) would be paid a total of $4,432,129.00 as emoluments for the 2017 season.

The figure covers the total base salaries and guaranteed compensations for the year 2017; this is according to information available to the MLS Players Union.

Black Stars players Jonathan Mensah and David Accam are the top Ghanaian earners in the MLS with guaranteed compensations up to $844,000.00 and $820,937.50 respectively.

In a league with huge pay disparities, the total guaranteed compensations for all Ghanaians are not even up to how much the overall top earner of the league, Brazilian legend Kaka, who plays for Orlando City SC will take home at the end of the year 2017.

Kaka, 35, will receive a guaranteed compensation of $7,167,500.00 followed by Toronto FC striker Sebastian Giovinco ($7,115,555.6) and midfielder Michael Bradley ($6,500,000.00) to complete the top three earners in the league.

Other top earners in the MLS include Andrea Pirlo (Italy), New York City, ($5,915,690.00), David Villa (Spain), New York City, ($5,610,000.00), Giovani dos Santos (Mexico), LA Galaxy, ($5,500,000.0), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Chicago Fire, ($5,400,000.00), Jozy Altidore (US), Toronto, ($4,875,000.00), Clint Dempsey (US), Seattle Sounders, ($3,892,933.50), and Diego Valeri (Argentina), Portland Timbers ($2,607,500.00).

Individual salaries of Ghanaians in the league is a ‘chicken change’ as compared to that of the top earners in the league, but in reality, Ghanaian players must be content with whatever they are earning from the league, taking into consideration the economy of Ghana as well as their bargaining power.

In world soccer terms, the emoluments of some of these Ghanaian players in the league may be on the lower side but players in Ghana’s topflight soccer league will die for such figures.

Jonathan Mensah and David Accam are regarded as Designated Players for Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire and should have been at par with the likes of Kaka, Giovinco and the other top earners but this is a league that so called Designated Players come in with different bargaining powers, albeit, the rest below the Designated Player status negotiate their salaries through the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Ghana and Colorado Rapids midfielder Bismark Adjei-Boateng will take home a guaranteed compensation of $341,246.00 for the 2017 season followed by Montreal Impact’s Dominic Oduro with $330,000.00, New York Red Bulls’ Gideon Baah ( $315,500.00), Columbus Crew’s Harrison Afful ($296,666.67), DC United’s Patrick Nyarko ($250,750.00) and Lloyd Sam ($250,000.00).

Philadelphia Union’s young Ghanaian defender Joshua Yaro will earn a total guaranteed compensation of $194,000.00 with Minnesota United FC striker Abu Danladi taking home $176,000.04 followed by Abu Mohammed of Columbus Crew ($171,250.00), DC United’s Kofi Opare ($120,000.00), LA Galaxy’s Emmanuel Boateng ($115,000.00), Sporting KC’s Latif Blessing ($74,379.00), Columbus Crew defender Abubakar Alhassan "Lalas" who is on loan at USL side Pittsburgh Riverhounds ($72,500.04), Philadelphia Union midfielder Derrick Jones ($70,900.00) as well as Atlanta United’s Jeffrey Oblitey Otoo who is also on loan at USL side Charleston Battery ($53,000.00).

According to the MLS Players Union, the annual average guaranteed compensation number includes a player's base salary and all signing and guaranteed bonuses annualized over the term of the player's contract, including option years.

For example, if a player has a base salary of $50,000, has a two-year contract with two one-year options and received a $10,000 bonus when he signed, his average annual guaranteed compensation would be $52,500 (base salary plus signing bonus ($10,000), with the signing bonus divided by the number of years covered by the contract (4)).

The average annual guaranteed compensation number also includes any annual marketing bonus to be received in the current year and any agent's fees annualized over the term of the contract.

However, the average annual guaranteed compensation figure does not include performance bonuses because there is no guarantee that the player will hit those bonuses.
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