MLS released its 2014 information on players' salaries on Thursday, which includes a bevy of interesting tidbits, including just how handsomely Clint Dempsey is compensated by the Seattle Sounders.
There is hardly a more shocking fact than the one tweeted out by ESPN's SportsCenter on Thursday, illustrating just how wide the chasm remains between the sport's haves and have-nots:
Although, that is just a tad misleading, because MLS is most certainly growing.
ESPN FC's full report cites a list released by MLS, listing the salaries of each of its athletes. The report reminds that the sport maintains three designated-player spots for each team that allow an organization to bring in top-tier talent that might warrant compensation that falls outside the salary cap.
The most recent examples all fill the top of the 2014 heap:
Toronto made a splash this offseason by bringing in U.S. national team midfielder Michael Bradley from Roma and England veteran Jermain Defoe from Tottenham Hotspur. The duo are the league's highest-paid players after Dempsey, with Bradley earning $6.5 million while Defoe pulls in $6.18 million.
It's important to note Bradley remains the top earner as it pertains to base salary, earning $6 million with Toronto FC—the discrepancy for which is due to, "bonuses for signing, marketing ...
It looks as if superstar Mike Magee will be playing soccer in Chicago for quite some time.
NBC Sports Soccer’s official Twitter page alerted fans to the news regarding Magee’s contract status on Thursday:
The exact terms of the contract were not disclosed in the immediate aftermath of the signing, but it can be expected that he will receive a significant raise given his recent performance on the pitch.
Magee won the 2013 MLS Most Valuable Player award after a season that saw him score 21 goals in 32 matches. He began his season playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy, where he scored six goals in the first 10 matches, but he was sent to Chicago in May in exchange for Robbie Rogers.
It was a move that clearly made him happy, which was evident in quotes he made, via Nicholas Mendola of Pro Soccer Talk:
“As a kid, I would have paid to play for the Chicago Fire, so as you can imagine, I’m beyond happy to have signed a new deal. My only goal with this team is to win an MLS Cup.”
The extension comes at an interesting time because there was recent discussion about the possibility that Magee was holding out during ...
Week 5 of play in Major League Soccer produced the third-highest goal total on a single day with 28.
Thanks to the offensive outburst, plenty of players soared up the latest MLS player power rankings.
Four of the top five players—and six of the top 10—after Week 5 played a part in a goal scored by their team this weekend.
Continue reading to see which of those players ended up as the best player in the league after five weeks. Begin Slideshow
The fifth week of play in Major League Soccer saw a few shocking results and plenty of visually pleasing play.
In a week where only one home team came out victorious, we saw a few rivalry games decided by the play of a few individuals and a team come together with their backs against the wall.
The six rivalry games did produce some juicy storylines, but so did the other three matches played during Week 5.
Continue reading for the eight biggest takeaways from Week 5 in MLS. Begin Slideshow
Any week that witnesses an eight-goal thriller, a MLS Cup rematch and a few rivalry matches is bound to have some winners and losers.
That is exactly what Week 5 in Major League Soccer produced as the weekend began with a 4-4 draw in the Cascadia Cup and ended with a blowout in the SuperClasico.
Mixed in between were plenty of things that stood out in a good and bad way.
Continue reading for the Week 5 winners and losers in MLS. Begin Slideshow
During the first rivalry week of the Major League Soccer season, the stars shined bright, while one unexpected star denied the defending MLS Cup champions of a home success.
Outside of the marquee rivalry showdowns, a few players from Colorado starred north of the border and Toronto dominated in a match it was supposed to lose.
Continue reading to see which players put on the greatest performances in Week 5 to earn a spot on the MLS Team of the Week. Begin Slideshow
The battle between turf and the New York Red Bulls will be the story to watch in MLS Week 5, but what additional storylines will complete your weekend preview?
In the coming slides, a majority of the nine matches scheduled for this week will be covered in great detail. Each match selected will be dissected from a unique angle to intensify your viewing pleasure.
So, what exactly warrants your attention in Week 5?
Read on to find out.
Note: Unless otherwise mentioned, credit all statistics to Squawka. All data collected is licensed from Opta Sports.Begin Slideshow
In the above clip, Chivas USA defender Bobby Burling powers home a late header to win their MLS season opener against Chicago Fire.
The goal was especially poignant to Burling, as he dedicated it to his late friend, Tommy 'Tomcat' Phillips, who had died of a rare form of kidney cancer, aged just 28, two weeks before.
Burling planned to reveal a tribute t-shirt during the game at some point, but, having already been booked, he would have been sent off for doing so in celebration, so opted not to.
Instead, Burling will be auctioning off the t-shirt he had on, along with the Chivas jersey he wore in the match and the match ball, at a pub crawl to pay tribute to Phillips in May.
All monies raised will be added to an endowment set up in Phillips' name by his friends and relatives, which has already seen almost $60,000 donated to cancer research.
Read more MLS news on BleacherReport.com
Heading into Saturday night's Texas derby at BBVA Compass Stadium, the pressure will be on both the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas to prove that a hot start can turn into a big result early in the season.
Both sides got off to blazing starts in the month of March with 16 combined points earned from seven games played between the two sides.
Houston has been one of the most consistent franchises in the league over the last five years, and in its first two games, it proved that this year will be no different.
The Dynamo thrashed New England in Week 1 at home before beating Montreal the next week by a 1-0 score.
After a bye week, Dominic Kinnear's club faced a trip up to BC Place to take on Vancouver, a game which resulted in a 2-1 loss.
That result could have been much different had Houston put away another chance or two on the treacherous turf up in British Columbia.
FC Dallas has come out of the gates on fire for the second consecutive season, as the team is currently in pole position to win the Supporters' Shield.
New manager Oscar Pareja ignited his team with a spark in Week 1 against Montreal ...
Major League Soccer is in its 19th season, and the beautiful game has never been in stronger position in the USA. Last season, the average attendance was higher than the English Championship, and internationally renowned players such as Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane flourished.
The American top flight aspires to be among the world's biggest leagues by 2022, but in its current state, this seems like a very ambitious target. MLS still has a reputation of being a "retirement league" for pros in their autumn years, and the standard is unquestionably lower than Europe's elite divisions.
Here are five ways in which Major League Soccer might attract more big stars—and therefore get closer to reaching its 2022 target. Begin Slideshow