LAFC’s Carlos Vela Remains the Highest-Paid Player in MLS

Carlos Vela with LAFC in 2018
Carlos Vela with LAFC in 2018. Photo by Jevone Moore/CSM/REX/Shutterstock

The LAFC’s forward Carlos Vela is the highest-paid player in Major League Soccer, according to a recent salary report published by the MLS Players Association. Vela, who held the top position in 2020 as well, has a $4.5 million base salary but total guaranteed compensation of $6.3 million.

Vela is followed by Mexico teammate Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who earns $6 million in base salary, which is also his guaranteed compensation with the LA Galaxy. The duo is followed by Inter Miami striker Gonzalo Higuain, who has a $5.1 million base salary and $5.79 million guaranteed compensation.

The top five MLS earners are rounded by the Toronto FC’s attacking midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo and the Atlanta United FC’s newly acquired winger Luiz Araujo. Pozuelo has $4.69 million guaranteed compensation, while Araujo earns $3.94 million on an annual basis.

According to the MLSPA’s report, the average annual compensation in the league is $418K, while the guaranteed compensation stands at $200K. The LA Galaxy are the team with the highest payroll at $20.32 million, followed by the Atlanta United with $20.06 million and the Toronto FC with $19.27 million. The Colorado Rapids, on the other hand, have the lowest payroll at $9.89 million.