We all knew that Toronto FC were one of the bigger spenders in MLS. We knew that they had a trio of high priced Designated Players that could rival anyone in MLS and we knew that they had several other expensive players. With the MLS Players Union releasing the salary figures for the first time this year we know have an even better picture of just where TFC's salary budget is being spent.
The salary information for the club is highlighted by Sebastian Giovinco who comes in with the league's second highest salary behind just Orlando City's Kaka. Giovinco is listed as bringing in $7,115,555.67 in guaranteed compensation for 2015 which leaves him just behind Kaka at his $7,167,500.00. After Giovinco, TFC are spending $6,500,000 on Michael Bradley and $4,750,00 on Jozy Altidore. The release also includes another million dollar player for the club as Gilberto (who is out on loan) is listed as making $1,205,000.
With their three designated players bringing in a combined salary of just $18 million Toronto FC are certainly spending a lot of money on their roster. Across the league, a total of 19 players (20 if you count Gilberto) are set to earn over one million dollars this year. Toronto are just one of three teams in the league that are spending over one million dollar on three or more different players as they are joined in that group for New York City FC and the Los Angeles Galaxy.
TFC's spending does not stop at the DPs though as they have a number of other players commanding large salaries. Damien Perquis is set to make $372,500 this season making him the next highest paid player on the roster. After the defender comes Robbie Findley earning $255,500, then Benoit Cheyrou and his $249,999.96, and then Luke Moore who is set to make $235,500. That gives the club a total of 7 players that are taking up over 200k of the salary budget this season.
With a Designated Player counting as $436,250 against the cap this year that means that Giovinco, Bradley, and Altidore are taking up just over $1.3 million of the available salary budget. When you add in the other four players making over 200k and that total jumps up to just over $2,422,000 or the total budget which stands at $3,490,000 for the 2015 season.
That means that Toronto are spending nearly 70% of their salary budget on just seven players. That leaves them having to find a fair few bargains to round out the rest of the roster while also making good use of their allocation money to remain under the cap. It certainly means that they will be hard pressed to find room to make any impact signings during the summer window without first getting rid of one of the bigger salaries still on their books.
TFC do have a few deals on their roster with players like Marco Delgado ($82,500), Nick Hagglund ($60,00), Chris Konopka ($66,000), Daniel Lovitz ($60,000), Ashtone Morgan ($112,000), and Eriq Zavaleta ($115,600) all providing good value for their current salary at times this season.
The club needs to continue to find good value at the back end of the roster to balance out the big spending that they are doing at the top end. The only way to build a deep team in MLS is to find those bargains to compliment the star players. It is an area in which TFC have struggled in the past often paying big money for average MLS players and failing to find those bargains that every team needs.
This current roster is still clearly top heavy but if the team could get rid of one of the larger contracts currently on their books it would give them the room they need to make improvements in other areas. The most likely place where the club could shed some salary is at forward where they have a bit of a surplus of options and could really make better use of the money they are currently spending on one of Findley or Moore.
Full Toronto FC List of Salaries
Team Last First Pos. Base Salary Guaranteed Compensation