Breaking down the 2018 LA Galaxy player salaries

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Editorial (May 15, 2018) – The 2018 MLS player salaries came out last week. Let’s take a look at the LA Galaxy player salaries, who are overpaid and underpaid, and what the finances mean for the club.

Breaking down the 2018 LA Galaxy player salaries

For the full list of player salaries league wide, check out the MLS Players Union. For a Galaxy specific list, check out LA Galaxy Confidential.

General breakdown:

The LA Galaxy are spending just under $14.8 million in base salary across all players this year. That’s up by several million from last year, one of the worst teams and seasons in franchise history. Total compensation (previously known as guaranteed compensation) is just over $17.5 million. That’s good for second in total spending in MLS, behind Toronto FC ($26.2 million) and ahead of New York City FC ($14.1 million). All dollar amounts in this article are USD, for your information.

With this, the Galaxy are back to the top of the league in spending, both overall and on designated players. In total compensation, Giovani dos Santos is the fifth highest paid player league-wide and the highest paid on the Galaxy by a factor of three. The Galaxy have four of the 25 highest paid players in the league.


Let’s start with Giovani dos Santos. If it weren’t for his goal against New York Red Bulls, he would have gone almost a calendar year without scoring a goal for LA Galaxy. He and his brother Jonathan combine for over half of the Galaxy’s total player payroll. Both have been underwhelming over the last year and have severely underperformed based on expectations, hype, and compensation. The two seem more focused on not getting hurt for the World Cup.

The Galaxy also bost the highest paid defense in the league. Jorgen Skjelvik is the highest paid defender in MLS and the only one to hit seven figures. Galaxy fans, of course, know Michael Ciani making $620,000 and Ashley Cole has nearly doubled his salary from 2017, making over $722,000. Like a microcosm of this team overall, the defense is an expensive collection of talent but has proven to be a very poor team.

While I wouldn’t blame all the defensive woes on him, David Bingham is middle of the pack in goalkeeper pay, making $275,000.


In short, not as many players who appear overpaid this far in the season. That said the Galaxy do have several good value contracts on the books for 2018. We, of course, have to start with the $1.5 million TAM contact to Zlatan Ibrahimovic who is getting paid way below his market value and the Galaxy will easily be making that up in ticket, merchandise, and sponsorshi[ revenue with him on the team.

At just under a half a million, Perry Kitchen’s salary is a bit surprising. He’s not underpaid by much if you ask me, but at that salary, he’s technically a budget player. His signing was announced by the club as using TAM, which means some (or possibly most) of that TAM usage was on a transfer fee and getting his MLS rights from D.C. United.

Lastly, Romain Alessandrini actually took a bit of pay cut from 2017 and is making just under $1.9 million. He isn’t that underpaid given that his 2018 has been disappointing (one could say that about most of the team to be honest). If he’s able to find his 2017 form/production, he’s probably the best value of the DPs on this team.

Other surprises:

Most of the big things worth noticing with the Galaxy players salaries have already been mentioned. That said, the Galaxy do have a few other surprises on the books. As a serviceable MLS veteran, Servando Carrasco is on a senior budget player minimum contract of $67,500. Sebastian Lletget and Emma Boateng are also on reasonable salaries (that haven’t changed much from last year) in $252,666.67 and $130,000, respectively.

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