The semi-annual release of player salaries by the MLS Players Union has once again led to question after question, and as usual, Real Salt Lake's salary paints a distinct picture of a sizable core group of players and a young, promising core on league minimum salaries.
The release, an update from the salary listing released August 1, included the salary of RSL newcomer David Viana, who sits at $44,000.
Of Real Salt Lake's players, only 13 receive more than $66,000 in base salary. Of those, 11 are "on the books," so to speak - Luis Gil ($102k base, $197k guaranteed), whose salary is off-books as part of the Generation Adidas program; and Justin Braun ($102k base, $105k guaranteed), who has half his salary paid by Montreal Impact this season as part of the terms of his move to Real Salt Lake.
Our highest-paid player remains Javier Morales ($425k base, $478k guaranteed), followed by Alvaro Saborio ($350k/$406k), Kyle Beckerman ($300k/$311k), and Will Johnson ($243k base and guaranteed).
Four players receive the league minimum salary of $33,750 (of six slots for players earning this amount): Sebastian Velasquez, Nico Muñiz, Kenny Mansally, and Lalo Fernandez. Six receive either the league minimum of $44,000 for roster slots 1-24: Yordany Alvarez, Emiliano Bonfigli, Chris Schuler, Jonny Steele, David Viana, and Kwame Watson-Siriboe (who is at $48,400).
A further three players receive approximately $65,000 in base salary: Paulo Jr., Kyle Reynish, and Enzo Martinez (whose salary is also part of the Generation Adidas program.)
With the overwhelming majority of RSL's salary set toward the "best eleven," the club finds itself in a tricky situation. $2.4 million of salaries belong to those players, while players occupying the other 15 spots earn approximately $803,000 in total - about one-third of the core.
It does not appear that any deals have been restructured in salary from the preceding release on Aug. 1. That release saw a drop in salary for Paulo Jr. ($10k), as well as a slight shakeup in the squad after the releases of Leone Cruz, Cody Arnoux and Chris Estridge, and the signings of Watson-Siriboe, Braun and Mansally.
This most recent release sees the waiving of Terukazu Tanaka and the signing of David Viana.